Southgate at Shrewsbury resident Ed Daly received the Congressional Gold Medal on Monday at the Shrewsbury, MA, continuing care retirement community.

The medal, which along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. government, is in recognition of Daly’s World War II service in the Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the modern Central Intelligence Agency. The OSS was around 13,000 members strong in 1944, but fewer than 100 former members are still living.

The medal ceremony was arranged after Daly was unable to attend a March ceremony that Congress held in Washington, DC. Monday, the honor was presented by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) in the presence of Daly’s family members and friends, Southgate at Shrewsbury staff members and members of the media.

“This award is not given out lightly,” McGovern said, according to prepared remarks shared with McKnight’s Senior Living. “In our nation’s long history, fewer than 200 people and institutions have been given a Congressional Gold Medal.” The contributions of OSS members never have been officially recognized until this year, he added.

Daly is a native of Worcester, MA. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1942 and was assigned to Kunming, China. There, he coded, decoded and transmitted messages vital to the war effort. Daly’s OSS unit earned the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism.

After the war, Daly graduated from the Boston College Law School and worked at the FBI and in the U.S. Department of Labor.

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