ARLINGTON, Texas – March 25 marks National Medal of Honor Day, a day to recognize the heroism and sacrifice of the brave Americans awarded our nation's highest award for valor in combat: the Medal of Honor. This official day of recognition was designated by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, marking the day the very first Medals of Honor were awarded in 1863 during the Civil War. The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation (NMOHMF) is celebrating 2021's National Medal of Honor Day with key moments throughout the day.
On Thursday, Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner, president and general manager, announced a historic $20 million donation from his family to the NMOHMF, which has now surpassed $70 million in total funds raised. Jones' daughter, Charlotte Jones, executive vice president and chief brand officer for the Cowboys, serves as Chairman of the Board for the Museum.
The Jones family's generous contribution brings the Museum one step closer to beginning construction in Arlington, Texas, in the next year and opening its doors in 2024. The National Medal of Honor Monument Act currently moving through Congress is another key component of this project.
"Anyone who is successful in business has at times stood on the shoulders of others," said Jones. "Never in my life have I had the opportunity to stand beside those who have given so much for the defense of freedom and our way of life. Medal of Honor recipients represent the very best of America and the values to which all heroes aspire. Supporting this project is a privilege."
At 3:25 p.m., local time, the NMOHMF will be holding the second-ever 'Moment of Honor,' encouraging all Americans to join the Museum for a moment of quiet reflection on the bravery of those who have given so much for their country. Across the country, governors from 16 states, from the East Coast to Hawaii, are joining the Museum in observing the day and have issued proclamations to mark Medal of Honor Day.
"National Medal of Honor Day is a time for all Americans to come together and reflect upon the actions of our nation's Medal of Honor recipients, as well as the values they represent – courage, commitment, integrity, sacrifice, citizenship and patriotism. Now more than ever, it is important to take a moment to give thanks to those who have given so much in defense of our way of life and those who continue to serve our nation," said NMOHMF CEO James T. Connors.
The Museum's #MissionInspire podcast this month also featured two of America's most recent Medal of Honor recipients, Sgt. Maj. Matthew Williams and Sgt. Maj. Thomas "Patrick" Payne. The recipients discussed how their lives have changed since receiving the Medal, what it felt like to get "the call," the significance of National Medal of Honor Day, and why the Museum's mission to build a place where all Americans may visit and learn about the values inherent in the Medal of Honor is so important.
Finally, today also marks the last day Americans can participate in the Fifth Annual Medal of Honor Mail Call, a program with Janine Stange to share personal letters of gratitude with our nation's 69 living Medal recipients.
To learn more about how the NMOHMF is marking National Medal of Honor Day 2021, visit mohmuseum.org/national-medal-of-honor-day.
About the Museum and Foundation: 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.
The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation is a 501(c)(3) educational institution organized to design, fund, build and maintain the National Medal of Honor Museum and Education Center, which will be funded principally through donations from the private sector. For more information please visit the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation website or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.