ARLINGTON, Texas (KETK) – Arlington has been named the new home of the National Medal of Honor Museum, due to open in 2014.
The announcement was made Wednesday evening by Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.
“Arlington, Texas is the optimal location to build America’s next national treasure – the National Medal of Honor Museum,” said Daniels. “All of us at the museum were simply overwhelmed with the enthusiasm, warmth and level of commitment of those involved, who have worked beyond expectation to have the museum come to Texas.”
The museum will be located near Arlington’s Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium.
In the announcement, Daniels cited the state’s strong military culture and deep history of military service. Texas is home to 70 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor and nearly 1.8 million veterans and active duty military service members.
“Centuries of American history are filled with examples of selfless heroism and love of country shown by the men and women of this great state,” said Daniels. “We look forward to partnering with Governor Abbott, Mayor Williams, public and private leaders, and the entire North Texas community as we carry out our important mission – to honor our nation’s Medal of Honor recipients for future generations.”
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest and most prestigious military honor, given only to service members who distinguish themselves by acts of gallantry and intrepidity in combat, risking loss of life above and beyond the call of duty.
It has only been awarded to 3,524 military members since the honor was inaugurated in 1863 during the Civil War.
“On behalf of the people of Texas, I welcome the National Medal of Honor Museum to the Lone Star State,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. “There is no better place to honor and preserve the legacy of our nation’s Medal of Honor recipients than in this patriotic city. We are well known for our Texas pride – and we are extremely proud that Arlington, which brings visitors from across our great nation and the world, was chosen as the home of a museum that will surely become a national icon.”
New York City, San Diego and Washington, D.C., were among the finalists before the foundation narrowed it in July to Denver and Arlington
The museum will feature state-of-the-art permanent, interactive experiences and rotating exhibitions to illustrate the historical thread of sacrifice, patriotism and courage that runs through U.S. military service members, past and present.
“Arlington, Texas, is honored to be entrusted as the home of the National Medal of Honor Museum,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “Located in the heart of our nation, we look forward to commemorating the stories of the 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients to educate, inspire, and motivate our youth to understand the meaning and price of freedom. We are excited and humbled to provide a national platform to spread this message throughout our great country.”
The museum is currently aboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, but the foundation wanted to move it onto land. A planning board last year rejected a design proposal for the museum along the waterfront in Mount Pleasant.
The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation expects to complete construction by 2024.