Ground was broken recently to begin the construction of a National Medal of Honor Museum, some 161 years after Abraham Lincoln commissioned the medal. It is this nation’s highest award for valor on the field of battle.
Since its creation in 1861, there have been 3,459 Medals of Honor awarded to 3,440 recipients. If you notice a discrepancy in the numbers here, there is a reason for it; 19 of the MOH recipients were awarded the medal twice. And, as one of my recent articles indicated, only one of those Medals of Honor was awarded to a woman, Dr. Mary Walker.
Those who have served in battle, and especially those who have actually observed the actions undertaken by those few who have been awarded the MOH, know the heights of valor that are associated with the reception of this military award. The level of selflessness, courage, and love of those who have been awarded the MOH is beyond both question and understanding. Yet their actions reveal the best qualities of our humanity, undertaken during moments of sheer terror and physical danger.
A full 60% of those medals were awarded posthumously. In those cases, the actions that the recipients undertook on behalf of their brothers and sisters in battle saved countless lives and often made the difference between loss and victory.
The Medal of Honor Museum is being built in Arlington, TX. The Medal of Honor Foundation, made up of living recipients of the MOH, is located in South Carolina, but Arlington was chosen for the museum site precisely because of its location. The museum is being built near the professional sports stadiums and the airport in Arlington, making it easily accessible to travelers, tourists, and locals. Texas is also home to some 15 military bases. For example, San Antonio is home to four major military facilities. It is about 270 miles from Arlington.
The Medal of Honor represents the highest forms of courage. Let me end here with a quote about courage from G.K. Chesterton: “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” This is the definition of courage that is behind the Medal of Honor and is the description of the character of all of those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
We thank the living Medal of Honor recipients and all who have been involved and continue to be involved with the creation of this new National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington, TX. It will be a way of telling the story of what courage and honor look like under the most trying of circumstances. Honor! Respect! And our eternal thanks to all.Whizzco