DENVER (CBS4)– Officials with the Medal of Honor Museum are in Colorado as the competition for a final decision on a location draws closer. The finalists are Denver and Arlington, Texas.
“The Medal of Honor represents the absolute pinnacle of bravery and gallantry and it’s a tremendous honor. This country should have a national museum that preserves their stories,” said Joe Daniels the President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum. “Clearly, with all the military bases that are in this state, I think the general spirit of this state reflects it is incredibly patriotic.”
A final decision is expected in October. Colorado officials have been lobbying to land the museum and place it across the street from the state capitol, with the hopes of increasing tourism.
“This museum is about preserving the stories and the legacies of the highest award our nation gives for valor in combat,” said Daniels.
For more than a decade, Daniels worked on the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, securing over $400 million of donations and creating a national treasure. Now he wants to do the same with the Medal of Honor Museum.
“It was just the privilege of a lifetime to interact with all of those families with all of the, everyone that remembers where they were and has that story,” he said. “I saw the power of, when you can tell these stories of people that have been through and done incredible things, you can really touch people emotionally.”
Daniels says he’s going to repeat the process and knows fundraising about $150 million will be a tall task. The ability to fundraise will be a major deciding factor on the museums final location.
“We do want public contribution but the primary funding source will be private philanthropy,” Daniels said. “becoming involved in a project when it’s just plans on paper, sticking with that project until the day we open, will make people take a true sense of pride and achievement.”