UPDATE 10/2/2019: Arlington has been selected as the site of the first 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.
"Arlington, Texas is the optimal location to build America's next national treasure — the National Medal of Honor Museum,” said Joe Daniels, president/CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation in a statement. "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."
The cultural juggernaut that is the city of Arlington is one of two finalists being considered as the future home of a national Medal of Honor Museum.
The museum is designed to honor those who have received the Medal of Honor, as well as also anyone who has ever served. It's currently in South Carolina at the U.S.S. Yorktown, outside Charleston.
Arlington hosted a visit by the project's CEO, Joe Daniels, on August 29, who said in a statement that Arlington would be a great fit. The other finalist is Denver, Colorado.
"In order for this museum to have the highest impact as possible on this country, we want it to be in a city that is truly national and that truly represents all of the core values that the medal represents," Daniels said.
“The service and patriotism of my fellow Medal of Honor recipients and those we served with should be told on a national stage,” he said.
The museum's foundation has been engaged in discussions with Arlington and Denver since the two cities were announced as finalists in June. Factors under consideration include timeline, location, the potential support of private individuals and organizations, and other program possibilities within each city.
The foundation is the educational institution organized to design, fund, build, and maintain the museum and accompanying education center, but those will be funded primarily by donations from the private sector. Cough cough, Arlington moneybags.
Arlington officials have said that, if Arlington were chosen, the museum would be built in the city's entertainment district near the stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers — specifically on the site of the current Texas Rangers Youth Ballpark. They estimate that it would take four years to build.
While in town, Daniels met with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Texas Rangers co-owner Ray Davis.
Daniels said that the museum would become its own destination. "We believe that people will make a choice to come to Arlington who otherwise wouldn’t come because of this museum," he said. But he would say that because he works for the museum.
The final decision will be announced October 2 in New York City. Huh. Shouldn't it be announced in the city where it's going?
The museum will describe the Medal of Honor recipients' stories, including the wars in which they fought and the ideals that the Medal of Honor represents.
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest and most prestigious military honor. It has been awarded to more than 3,500 service members since the first medal was presented in 1863.