Military heroes’ stories will live on in Arlington, as Medal of Honor Museum breaks ground
The National Medal of Honor Museum broke ground in Arlington Friday morning in a ceremony attended by 15 Medal of Honor recipients, CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper and former President George W. Bush. The ceremony took place on the museum’s future site near AT&T Stadium, where atop gold chairs in a sauna-like tent a crowd of hundreds listened to musicians and speakers. Friday also marked Medal of Honor Day, a holiday signed into law by Bush’s father and former President George H.W. Bush.
The museum will recognize the more than 3,500 service members who have received the nation’s highest military decoration for valor in combat. The five-acre site will feature exhibits, conference rooms and educational resources. Texas Live! and the museum’s foundation will partner to raise $1 million for the museum, which is set to open in 2024. Tapper, who mediated throughout the event, began by telling the crowd that dirt left behind by Medal of Honor recipients represent more than just dirt.
“The grounds of battle are made hallowed by the blood and sweat poured out into the dirt,” Tapper said. “Meanwhile, the grounds of these great patriots left behind at home are marked by the sacred tears of parents and grandparents praying for a hero’s safe return, or mourning a hero’s passing.” Medal of Honor recipients have come from all over, and museum supporters have been sending their state soil to the museum. At one point in the ceremony, each of the 15 honorees in attendance got to pour small containers of dirt on the museum’s dirt logo as they were introduced to the crowd in a unification of the nation’s soils.
Medal of Honor winner Patrick H. Brady humbly told the crowd that honorees don’t think they did America a favor with their sacrifice, but that the country did them a favor by allowing them to be Americans. Brady said honorees are obsessed with service.
This museum will allow us to serve beyond our lives,” Brady said. “We will highlight recipients’ accomplishments as citizens, more important than what we did a soldiers.” In his remarks, Bush said that getting to present the Medal of Honor, which he did nine times, was one of the greatest privileges that came with the president’s job. While he didn’t miss much about being president, Bush said, he did miss being around and meeting military members and their families. He said visitors to the museum would come away with an understanding of what’s important.
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