NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- For the 22nd straight year, the Virginia Arts Festival will bring the pageantry and majesty of the Virginia International Tattoo to Hampton Roads.

This year, the gathering will celebrate those who have been awarded America's highest honor: The Medal of Honor.

Through the universal language of song, the Tattoo will tell their stories .

For the past 242 years, in conflicts through the generations, U.S. military members have demonstrated courage and devotion to duty time and time again. And among the 57 million patriots who've worn the uniform of this nation, a select few truly went above and beyond the Call of Duty.

"Over 3,400 Medals of Honor have been awarded since 1861 when it was established. There are today, 71 living recipients of that Medal," said We Were Soldiers Once And Young co-author Joe Galloway.

Retired Marine Colonel Harvey "Barney" Barnum, Jr. of Reston is one of the recipients, having earned his Medal of Honor for valor in the Vietnam War in 1965. And with a grandson, granddaughter and great granddaughter living in Chesapeake, he's more than happy to participate in this year's festivities.

"I just think it's a great thing, and I'm glad that they've chosen the Medal of Honor to be the focus of the program," he said. "I mean, this stands for the mettle of America, really, if you think about it. So we're going to stop, pause and honor this great country."

Once again, 13News Now is a proud sponsor of the Virginia International Tattoo. It runs April 26 through 29 at Norfolk Scope.