Many of our nation’s prominent historical museums are located in Washington, D.C., but Arlington will be the future home of the nation’s first National Medal of Honor Museum, its foundation announced on Wednesday.
The museum is set to open in 2024.
The museum, which will honor the 3500 Medal of Honor recipients, will be a state-of-the-art facility located north of Globe Life Park on three to five acres beside the lake.
“It will be in a tranquil, reflective setting,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams.
“I’m excited, but also feel an extreme sense of responsibility to be home to this important museum. We will work very hard to be good stewards so that the 3500 inspiring stories can be told,” Williams said.
Arlington draws about 15 million visitors per year to its various attractions. It is also home to the largest Independence Day parade in Texas and is not far from the DFW National Cemetery.
“I believe the Museum Foundation Board of Directors made an excellent decision to put it in the middle of the country. Texas is very patriotic. We love the military, veterans, and the ideals upon which this country is founded,” Congressman Ron Wright (R-TX-06) told The Texan.
Wright also explained that the Medal of Honor Museum is actually part of a two-fold effort. He will be part of a bi-partisan companion effort to get a Medal of Honor monument built in Washington D.C.
“The 36-members of our Texas delegation in the House and both Senators are very supportive. We have key people in key positions in Congress that will work hard to push for the monument,” Wright said in praising the Board’s decision to choose Texas over Colorado, the other finalist location.
Governor Greg Abbott also praised the decision in a press statement on Wednesday.
“Our Medal of Honor recipients are the bravest of the brave — American heroes who have been awarded our nation’s highest honor for valor in action, and their stories must not be forgotten. I congratulate the City of Arlington, the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and all who worked so hard to bring the museum to Texas.”
Arlington first learned of the Museum Foundation’s interest in the North Texas area as a possible location in March and was very interested.
Williams said that the foundation’s board made six or seven trips to the area as part of the consideration process.
The museum will be a philanthropic effort and about $150 million in funds will need to be raised.
The city offered the foundation the land for the museum for $1, Mayor Williams said. City staff also confirmed that no tax abatements or traditional economic development incentives were offered, but infrastructure and development fee waivers may be available as the process progresses.
Arlington is not new to honoring Medal of Honor recipients.
Colonel Neel Kearby, who graduated from Arlington High School in 1928, is honored with a statue and display at Arlington’s City Hall.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his destruction of six enemy aircraft during a successful raid on enemy installations in the South Pacific during World War II.
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Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.