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Chattanooga Medal of Honor museum's first exhibit to showcase collection of medals, stories

Chattanooga's Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center's launch is set for Feb. 22.

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By COLIN M. STEWART | Chattanooga Times/Free Press | Published: February 4, 2020

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Tribune News Service) — The opening exhibit of Chattanooga's Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center will feature a large collection of medals and the stories of their recipients, according to organizers of the museum's launch, which is set for Feb. 22.

The exhibit, titled "Honoring the Sacrifice: Medals of Honor Through Time," will run through May 13.

Designed to showcase a large collection of Medals of Honor as well as highlight the individual backgrounds and stories of the Medal of Honor recipients, the exhibit spans from the Civil War to Vietnam.

Each of the recipient sections will include a biography, pictures of the recipient, the actual medal and various objects that belonged to the individual and represent their service, according to a Tuesday news release from the Heritage Center.

"We are borrowing objects from institutions and individuals all over the country in order to bring this very large collection to the Heritage Center," said Molly Randolph, curator of exhibits for the Heritage Center. "Our hope is that visitors will be inspired by these extraordinary acts of valor by ordinary individuals and that they can connect these same character traits to their day-to-day lives."

The exhibit will open to the public at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, as the museum celebrates its opening and the culmination of a three-year campaign to build the new National Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga. The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. and feature at least 15 visiting Medal of Honor recipients and numerous local and national dignitaries.

Because of the museum's Tennessee roots, the Heritage Center will feature a large number of Tennessee Medals of Honor and recipients in this and subsequent exhibits, according to the release. The exhibits will rotate three to five times a year.

For more information about the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, please visit www.mohhc.org or call 423-877-2525.

©2020 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
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