Denver one of two finalist cities to host National Medal of Honor Museum |

Denver one of two finalist cities to host National Medal of Honor Museum

Kieran Nicholson
The Medal of Honor hangs around the neck of Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia is seen as he speaks to media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, after receiving the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump for conspicuous gallantry while serving in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Denver is one two finalists in the running to be home to the National Medal of Honor Museum.

The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation announced Tuesday that its board of directors has selected Denver and Arlington, Texas, as the two finalists after a national search that began in October, according to a news release.

As part of the search criteria, the foundation strives to ensure that “the newly created museum will have the highest impact on the largest number of people possible,” the release said.

The final city will be announced in September. The nation’s highest and most prestigious military honor, the Medal of Honor has been awarded to more than 3,500 service members since it was first presented in 1863.

“The National Medal of Honor Museum is the caretaker of a legacy defined by sacrifice,” Medal of Honor recipient Britt Slabinski said in the release. “The service and patriotism of my fellow Medal of Honor recipients and those we served with should be told on a national stage.”

Denver is the 19th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. and home to about 3 million people, the release stated. In 2017, the area hosted about 32 million visitors, who spent a total of $5.6 billion.

Gov. Jared Polis, in a letter to Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, said Colorado has much to offer to the museum and that the state is excited and honored by the prospect of hosting the museum.

“Colorado and the city of Denver are prospering, and we would like to present you with a unique opportunity to join in that prosperity and partner with us to create a home for the new National Medal of Honor Museum, where Americans can honor and learn the history of its bravest and finest,” Polis said in the letter.

If Denver is chosen, plans envision the Civic Center as the museum’s location.

The museum also announced Tuesday that it’s working with Congress to create the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, the first-ever monument in Washington, D.C., dedicated to honoring the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients.

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