November 2019

Page 24

BLOCKBUSTER NEWS Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, announces that Arlington has been selected as the site of the new National Medal of Honor Museum. Looking on is Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams.

We did it!

Arlington named as the site of the National Medal of Honor Museum


he National Medal of Honor Museum  Foundation announced early last month that, following a national search launched more than a year ago, Arlington has been selected by the Foundation’s Board of Directors as the site for the future National Medal of Honor Museum.     Planned for construction near Arlington’s Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium, the first national  museum of its kind is scheduled to open to the public in 2024. “Arlington, Texas is honored to be entrusted as the home of the National Medal of Honor Museum,” says Arlington  Mayor Jeff Williams. “Located in the heart of our nation, we look  forward to commemorating the stories of the 3,500 Medal of Honor  recipients to educate, inspire and motivate our youth to understand the meaning and price of freedom. We are excited and humbled to provide a national platform to spread this message throughout our great country.”     During the final months of the extensive search process, as  Arlington was becoming a finalist along with Denver, local city  leaders and its populace made a coordinated fervent push for the prestigious museum. Ultimately, the city’s “can do” spirit won over  the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Arlington, Texas, is the optimal location to build America’s next national treasure – the National Medal of Honor Museum,”  says Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National Medal of  Honor Museum Foundation. “All of us at the Museum were  simply overwhelmed with the enthusiasm, warmth and level of commitment of those involved, who have worked beyond expectation to have the Museum come to Texas. Seventy recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor have lived in the region and  nearly 1.8 million veterans and active duty military currently call Texas home. Centuries of American history are filled with examples  of selfless heroism and love of country shown by the men and  women of this great state.” That Arlington even came into play during the process – much


ARLINGTON TODAY • November 2019 •

Photo: City of Arlington

less, earn the selection – is rooted in a fascinating, and, for the city, fortuitous, turn of events. Local resident Sid Eppes, chairman of the Arlington-based AirPower Foundation, was having lunch during the spring with former Medal of Honor recipient Donald “Doc” Ballard, when the  topic of the proposed new museum came up.     The AirPower Foundation is a non-profit that supports active  duty, reserve and National Guard families, as well as supporting  projects to assist wounded, ill or injured service members, children of fallen military personnel and veterans. In fact, the foundation recently raised $2.5 million for those causes during its Sky Ball Gala  earlier this year. Eppes, very much intrigued by the notion of a museum to honor Medal of Honor recipients, asked Ballard if Arlington might be  considered as a potential site. Ballard said the foundation had targeted some half-dozen potential sites, including San Diego, New York, Washington, D.C.,  and eventual runner-up Denver. But, no, he noted, Arlington hadn’t even been part of talks. Following the lunch, Eppes says he promptly called his friend and fellow longtime Arlington resident Steve Cavender, who is also a good friend of Mayor Jeff Williams and suggested Cavender call the  Mayor. Cavender did just that, and that started the ball rolling. Williams expressed a desire to follow up on the potential for Arlington to

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