This year’s award program to honor 9/11 Heroes, First Responders, and Community Champions

Honorees will be recognized during special on-field ceremony during Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions game starting at 12:30 EST on FOX

Washington, D.C. –America250, the nationwide commemoration of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026 led by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, and the National Football League (NFL) are excited to announce the inaugural class of the America250 Awards during a special halftime ceremony during the Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving Day 2021, airing on FOX. The three awardees will be recognized in the following categories: 9/11 Hero, First Responder, and Community Champion.

“America was built on acts of selflessness, heroism, and ingenuity that have defined our nation,” said Joseph Daniels, president and CEO, America250. “The people of this country and their contributions are what make our nation truly great. America250 is proud to partner with the NFL for an opportunity to recognize extraordinary Americans by presenting America250 Awards this Thanksgiving as family and loved ones come together.”

“Part of our mission leading up to 2026 is to highlight the countless examples of extraordinary citizenry displayed throughout history and inspire Americans to imagine the possibilities of our nation’s next 250 years,” said Daniel M. DiLella, chairman, U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. “We are thrilled to partner with the NFL to spotlight the everyday American heroes who embody our country’s founding principles.”

“We are proud to recognize the incredible work, dedication and sacrifice of these community heroes as a token of our appreciation,” said Brendon Plack, SVP of Government Affairs, NFL. “We hope these awards will inspire others to thank those in their lives who have made a difference and to embody the American spirit by giving back to their communities.”

The awards program was created to recognize Americans who exemplify the intangible qualities of the American spirit, and spotlight those who exhibit heroism, unity, justice, tranquility, valor, and equality, and advance and uphold the freedoms first forged in the founding promise of America.

The partnership was first announced during halftime of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on FOX in August 2021. A distinguished panel of judges selected three winners from a nationwide nomination campaign. Each of the winners received two roundtrip tickets and accommodations to the Thanksgiving Day NFL game.

To see this year’s America250 Award winners, tune in to the Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions game on FOX beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST. For more information on the awards program, please visit

About America250
America250 is a multiyear effort to commemorate the semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the United States. The purpose of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, created by Congress, and the corresponding America250 Foundation, is to catalyze a more perfect union by designing and leading the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our country’s history. America250 represents a coalition of public and private partners all working to create initiatives and programs that honor our first 250 years and inspire Americans to imagine our next 250. The commemoration period began in 2020, culminates on July 4, 2026, and officially concludes in 2027. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and TikTok.

Media Contact:
America250 | Michael Frazier, [email protected]
Rebecca Devine, [email protected]