ARLINGTON, Texas - Arlington will be the new home for the National Medal of Honor Museum.
The museum’s foundation chose Arlington after spending the past year looking for a place to recognize America’s greatest military heroes.
Museum officials said they picked Arlington because of its strong local support for Medal of Honor recipients, along with its philanthropy. The finalist cities were evaluated on location, population, tourism, and more.
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest and most prestigious military honor. It was first presented in 1863.
The foundation said it will illustrate the sacrifice, patriotism and courage that runs through all military service members past and present.
"We want to accomplish a lot and make people realize that the values of the Medal of Honor are ones that can be applied in civilian life. Each Medal of Honor recipient would say they don't wear the medal for themselves. They wear the medal for those that never came home. And what they want to see is the legacy, people applying these values in their everyday civilian lives," said Joe Daniels, the president and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum.
The museum is the first of its kind, and will honor more than 3,500 military service members who've been awarded a Medal of Honor, and share their stories for future generations to come.
It will offer state-of-the-art permanent, interactive experiences and rotating exhibits.
“Not enough of the country gets to hear these stories and gets the opportunity to be inspired,” Daniels said.
It's the stories like those of Major General Patrick Brady, who flew more than 2,500 combat missions and evacuated more than 5,000 wounded soldiers in Vietnam.
“It's not about valor, it's about the values of these people who wear that medal,” Brady added. “And it's to realize these recipients did so much more than what they did in combat.”
Those stories will now be shared with millions of visitors in Arlington at the new National Medal of Honor Museum that will be located in the center of Arlington's entertainment district, next to Globe Life Park, Globe Life Field, and AT&T Stadium.
Arlington, with strong support from the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys organizations, won out over the other finalist city - Denver.
“There are new hotels that are going up, new restaurants. There is innovation and mobility that is going on in Arlington, Texas that people all around the country would be very proud of, because it's only happening here right now,” said U.S. Representative Marc Veasey.
Officials said that though the museum is about Medal of Honor recipients, it is for future generations to learn and be inspired by their stories.
“This is a museum, they want their stories to impact future generations Kids today, that when they're faced in their civilian lives with the tough moments where they need to be brave, it is their stories that are going to provide that deep, deep inspiration,” Daniels added.
“We'll use the people that are telling the story, and we will remind this nation about what the Medal of Honor really does stand for,” Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said.
The museum is set to open in 2024.
Museum officials are also working with Congress on getting a monument dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients in Washington D.C.