Medal of Honor Presented to Marine

September 15, 2011 Updated Sep 16, 2011 at 8:06 AM EDT

By Ed Reilly

September 15, 2011 Updated Sep 16, 2011 at 8:06 AM EDT

(Washington, D.C.) The Medal of Honor is the military's highest honor. It is given to soldiers who go beyond the call of duty in combat.

Thursday afternoon, President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer.

In September 2009, then Corporal Dakota Meyer risked his life to save trapped soldiers who were caught in an ambush in the Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

Five times, Dakota Meyer and fellow soldiers raced through heavy enemy fire to rescue Coalition soldiers who were caught in a crossfire.

On his fifth attempt, Corporal Meyer was wounded but he jumped from his vehicle and dashed on-foot through enemy lines.

He located four missing Marines who had been killed by insurgent forces.

One of those Marines was Williamsville native Gunnery Sgt. Aaron Kenefict.

Across the the country, special services were held to pay tribute to the men who died in the Ganjgal Ambush.

They were requested by Sgt. Dakota Meyer who felt the day should focus on the men who gave their lives.

Dakota Meyer is the first living Marine in 41 years to receive the Medal of Honor.