Arlington officials and leaders with the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation said they’re pushing ahead with fundraising for and designing the $150 million project.
The rendering of the museum, released Tuesday afternoon, features multiple large presentation rooms, as well as a steel slab held up by five columns. The museum will stretch across five acres in Arlington’s entertainment district.
“I think that fundamentally the museum and its physicality represents strength and sacrifice and that this country, this 245-year experiment that is America, is not just guaranteed to continue to thrive without the sacrifices of the men and women on the front lines,” said Joe Daniels, museum foundation president.
In addition to exhibits that honor the nearly 3,500 award recipients, the museum will include conference rooms and education resources for primary and secondary school students and a leadership institute that will host speakers on moral character.
The foundation announced in October 2019 that Arlington would house the museum. The city beat out Denver, San Diego, New York and Washington, D.C.
The museum will be funded by donors, and Charlotte Jones, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president and museum board chair, said the foundation has raised $61 million.
“We still have a long way to go, but it just shows us and gives us the inspiration that there are so many men and women who want to bring this effort to life,” she said.
Mayor Jeff Williams, who also heads public charity Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, announced the group will donate $3.5 million to the museum. Williams spearheaded the movement to bring the museum to Arlington.
“We are confident this extraordinary place will inspire current and future generations with the ideals of courage, integrity, patriotism, leadership and sacrifice,” he said.
Jones said the foundation is “aggressively raising” funds. While they’re being receptive to the problems the pandemic has posed, she added, they are also itching to honor the museum for the medal recipients who are still alive and commemorate the sacrifices of thousands more.
“It’s not something that we want to push pause on and just hold on until things clear because honestly, we don’t know when that might be,” she said.
National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation leaders also plan to construct a monument in Washington. United States Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Marc Veasey have introduced bills in the Senate and House authorizing the museum foundation to build one on federal land.
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