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Arlington, Texas bests Denver to host National Medal of Honor Museum

Staff Sgt. David Bellavia places his Medal of Honor in a reporter's hand to show him the details of the award. Bellavia was honored during a Proclamation Ceremony in front of New York City Town Hall July 2, 2019.

SGT. 1ST CLASS JOSEPHINE PRIDE/U.S. ARMY

By JOHN AGUILAR | The Denver Post | Published: October 2, 2019

DENVER (Tribune News Service) — Arlington, Texas, will be home to a new National Medal of Honor Museum, besting Denver in a contest to host a facility that will honor the 3,500 service members awarded the nation’s most prestigious military decoration.

The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation made its announcement Wednesday afternoon, calling Arlington “the optimal location to build America’s next national treasure.”

Arlington and Denver were the two finalist cities vying for the museum, though Denver’s bid was muddied last month by leaders at the Regional Transportation District, who vacillated over whether to dedicate land the transit agency controls at the corner of Broadway and Colfax Avenue as a park-like entranceway for the museum.

The museum had been proposed for a parking lot at the corner of Lincoln Street and Colfax Avenue.

“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,” said Joe Daniels, the foundation’s CEO and president. “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.”

The museum will be built near Arlington’s Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium and will open in 2024. It will feature state-of-the-art permanent, interactive experiences and rotating exhibitions, the foundation said.

More than 3,500 military service members have been awarded the Medal of Honor since it was first bestowed during the Civil War.

The release from the foundation did not mention Denver as the runner-up.

Late Wednesday, RTD released a statement saying the choice of Texas as the museum’s new home “is disappointing news.”

“As for the future use of the property near Civic Center Station, while we do not have a current use identified, we will continue to explore opportunities,” said Pauletta Tonilas, RTD spokeswoman.

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