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A home for our bravest heroes

National Medal of Honor Museum opens in 2024
Posted at 11:11 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 00:22:52-04

ARLINGTON, Texas — It's symbolized America's bravest sacrifices for over 160 years – the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In a country of over 340 million people, only 64 Americans today hold this highest honor, but our nation's elite heroes now have a home in Arlington, Texas.

The National Medal of Honor Museum will span over 100,000 square feet with 30,000 square feet dedicated to exhibit space showcasing the stories of Medal of Honor recipients.

"As military members we all know what the Congressional Medal of Honor means and stands for," Chris Cassidy, the museum's president and CEO, said about the nation's highest military award. "The tremendous acts of courage, sacrifice and bravery that it takes to be even considered for the medal – let alone be approved and awarded the medal."

The man leading the mission to build the museum is no stranger to exceptionalism.

Cassidy served for nearly three decades in the U.S. Navy, 11 of which as a member of a SEAL team.

The Navy's special operations force stands for Sea, Air and Land – but that wasn't enough for him. Cassidy took his next mission to outer space.

Cassidy spent a total of 378 days in space overall with 10 spacewalks over the course of three flight missions.

Chris Cassidy official NASA portrait
Chris Cassidy, president and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum, spent 28 years in the U.S. Navy including 11 years as a SEAL team operator. Cassidy also had a 17-year career as an astronaut – spending 378 days in space during his time with NASA including 10 spacewalks.

He now takes the lessons of the SEAL teams and astronaut program in his next mission to honor our country's greatest heroes.

"I'm about nine months into this role at the foundation," Cassidy said. "In both cases, it's a small group of people trying to accomplish a risky mission together and do it safely and effectively with the support of a bunch of different people."

The museum will celebrate that Americans of all backgrounds can achieve greatness – but only a select few will be honored inside.

The facility will use state of the art video technology and immersive electronics to bring these stories to live. Each section will tell a different aspect of courage on the battlefield throughout the medal's history since 1861.

National Medal of Honor Museum technology
Mike Caldwell, the National Medal of Honor Museum chief of staff, said the stories of all 3,511 medal recipients will come alive inside the facility for visitors to experience.

"You want people to be inspired in some way," Cassidy said about the museum's technology. "A connection for some future military service member."

Cassidy said the museum's location in Arlington is sure to drive visitors from across the country.

Located just feet from the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, the museum will also feature a home for the Medal of Honor Institute in its five acre property.

Mike Caldwell, the museum's chief of staff, said the institute will provide leadership training modeled "after the valor and values of Medal of Honor recipients."

The museum's foundation also successfully lobbied both chambers of Congress to come together and pass the National Medal of Honor Monument Act – establishing a permanent memorial in Washington D.C.

The legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden in December 2021 after a U.S. House of Representatives vote of 416-0 and a unanimous vote in the Senate.

The museum also has the bipartisan support of four former U.S. presidents.

Cassidy said the museum will stand as a testament of American exceptionalism and the ideals of the military that anyone, regardless of background, can be called upon for greatness on the battlefield.

The building's steel exterior will be made of metal forged with heat and pressure – a metaphor of the Medal of Honor's own story forged in the fire of combat, Caldwell said.

National Medal of Honor Museum
The National Medal of Honor Museum will include a 100,000-square-foot-facility spread across five acres in Arlington, Texas within feet of AT&T Stadium and Choctaw Stadium.

The museum will also feature five concrete columns, poured and cured at a foundry in Hillsboro, Texas, meant to represent the five branches of U.S. armed services awarded the Medal of Honor.

Completing this mission for our country's heroes is less certain though, Cassidy said.

Cassidy said that although construction is underway with a completion date of 2024, the museum still needs funding for operations and a successful launch.

Millions have already been raised for the project, but you can donate here to further its mission to honor our bravest service members.

"It doesn't matter if you are at a museum, the SEAL teams or any group," Cassidy said. "How well people work together is essential to getting or making things move smoothly and getting the mission done."