DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado could be home to a museum dedicated more than 3,000 Medal of Honor recipients. On Wednesday, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation announced Arlington, Texas and Denver as the finalists for a new museum.
“It’s really a perfect fit for Colorado and our celebration of heroes and service,” said Jeff Kraft, the Director of Business Funding and Incentives for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
The state has agreed to allow the museum to be built at the corner of Lincoln Street and Colfax Avenue in downtown Denver.
“Gov. (Jared) Polis has been intimately involved in helping to sell the state. This is an incredible tourist attraction, it’s going to generate thousands, tens of thousands of new visitors to Colorado every year,” said Kraft.
The site is currently a parking lot between RTD’s new Civic Center Station and the State Capitol.
“Right here in the heart of downtown Denver. It is kind of the intersection of civic life and government life and also the central business district. It is an iconic civic location with views of the Rockies. It’s really the equivalent of the National Mall right here in Denver,” said Kraft.
State officials are hoping the museum could create a “Highway of Heroes” that could become a major tourist attraction. Pueblo has more Medal of Honor recipients than any other town in the country. Colorado Springs is a draw for the Air Force Academy and the under-construction Olympic Museum.
The prospect of a route could also include Eagle County and its ties to the 10th Mountain Division.
“We think all those visitors would love going to the museum here in Colorado,” said Kraft. “Honoring service, honoring the types of values a National Medal of Honor winner displays. So, I think it’s all kids of great benefits to our youth and people all over the state and all over the country.”
The museum will take a few years to construct but donations are already being accepted. A final decision will be announced in September.