The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation announced this week that Arlington, Texas has been selected by the Foundation's Board of Directors as the site for the future National Medal of Honor Museum. Planned for construction near Arlington's Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium, the first national museum of its kind would open to the public in 2024.
On Friday in Arlington, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was on hand to represent the organization, along with U.S. Representatives Marc Veasey and Roger Williams, Texas Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis and Arlington mayor Jeff Williams.
"Arlington, Texas is the optimal location to build America's next national treasure - the National Medal of Honor Museum," said Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation. "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. Seventy recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor have lived in the region and nearly 1.8 million veterans and active duty military currently call Texas home. 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. 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, the nation's highest and most prestigious military honor, has been awarded to more than 3,500 military service members since the first medal was presented in 1863. The National Medal of Honor Museum will offer an experience that draws personal and emotional connections to Medal of Honor recipients and their inspiring stories, while shedding light on the stories of heroism and the values that the Medal of Honor represents.
"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."
The National Medal of Honor Museum will provide an unrivaled visitor experience with state-of-the-art permanent, interactive experiences and rotating exhibitions. Serving as a national landmark - and located in America's heartland - the Museum will illustrate the historical thread of sacrifice, patriotism and courage that runs through all U.S, military service members, past and present. The National Medal of Honor Museum will also include an education center aimed at character development in our nation's youth. A critical part of the museum's mission will be to use the stories of Medal of Honor recipients to inspire young people, and motivate them to be their best selves.
"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."
In making its decision, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation first evaluated a range of factors, including the city's location, size and number of visitors, and community support – both overall and patriotic – for our nation's history. The Foundation then engaged in detailed discussions with leading members of the community and evaluated a timeline for conveyance of a potential museum location, the potential support of private individuals and organizations, and programmatic possibilities.
"Building a permanent home for the National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington ensures that the Foundation will be able to share the stories of the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients to the more than 51 million visitors that are warmly welcomed to the region a year," said Colonel Jack Jacobs. "Putting our roots down and establishing a permanent home for the Museum in Texas, a state that has unmatched ties to the military and military service, will allow us to create an experience that inspires a true strength of character."
North Texas offers the museum a setting that is popular with area residents and tourists, where the museum will be both a place of reflection and an educational institution. With the city of Arlington as a partner, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation expects to complete construction by 2024.
Arlington is situated in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, which is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the nation with more than 7.4 million people. Arlington and North Texas are close to two major airports - the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field. In 2017, the area welcomed more than 51 million visitors, who spent nearly $5 billion at destinations including the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Kimbell Art Museum, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Arlington Museum of Art, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, AT&T Performing Arts Center and Bass Hall. Residents and visitors also are strong supporters of the region's sports teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, FC Dallas, WNBA's Dallas Wings and the XFL's Dallas Renegades. Some of the largest employers in the Arlington metro area are American Airlines in Fort Worth, which employs 27,000; AT&T, which employs 17,000; General Motors, which employs more than 4,500; and Lockheed Martin, which employs 14,350. The National Medal of Honor Museum and its array of programs will be available to hundreds of thousands of students across North Texas, as well as more than 60,000 at The University of Texas at Arlington.
In anticipation of the final site selection, the NMOHM issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in August to the top architectural firms in the country that had expressed interest in designing the museum. A formal Request for Proposals will be provided four firms, based on the responses to the RFQ. The NMOHM Board expects to select the Museum's architect in early 2020.
In addition to building its Arlington home, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation looks forward to working with the United States Congressional Delegation from Texas to create the first-ever monument in Washington, D.C., dedicated to honoring the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients. The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial will join other national landmarks in the nation's capital, and draw a maximum level of visibility and support from every corner of the United States.
About the National Medal of Honor Museum
The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation is a non-profit educational organization established to preserve and present the stories of the nation's Medal of Honor recipients. The Museum aims to showcase acts of valor, share real-life examples of patriotism, leadership and courage and inspire current and future generations. Visitors will come to understand the meaning and price of freedom—and appreciate the virtue of putting service above self. For more information, visit mohmuseum.org.