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Medal Of Honor Museum At Patriots Point Set To Re-Open With New Visitor Experiences After $3.5 Million Renovation

Chris Hauff May 14, 2024

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – The Congressional Medal of Honor Society debuted the fully renovated Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point with a day of ceremonies and events recognizing the transformative $3.5 million renovation project that highlights the legacy, leadership, and core values of the nation’s highest award for military valor.

The Museum on the USS Yorktown, which opens to the public on May 25, tells the story of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients through modern immersive exhibits and never-before-seen artifacts meant to inspire personal and collective action by visitors. The experience takes visitors on a journey from the military training that each of the Recipients, along with all Service Members, received through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the Global War on Terror.

At each stop, visitors will share in the stories of the Recipients and learn about the values behind their acts of heroism. Information about the Museum renovation can be found here and here.

“This is a Museum about extraordinary service and sacrifice,” said Britt Slabinski, a Medal of Honor Recipient and president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “But it’s also a Museum that highlights the potential in all of us to do heroic things in our everyday lives. Our hope is that visitors will walk in as one person and walk out a slightly different person.”

The Medal of Honor Museum fits seamlessly into the overall Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, which includes the Yorktown, the USS Laffey destroyer and a Vietnam firebase experience. The Medal of Honor Museum was designated by Congress under the National Medal of Honor Memorial Act in 1999 as a National Medal of Honor Site.

“We are excited and honored to welcome our visitors to the completely reimagined Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point,” said Allison Hunt, executive director of the Patriots Point Development Authority. “The stories of extraordinary courage and selfless service told within the museum will be a powerful resource in supporting our important mission to promote American pride and patriotism.”

The renovations of the Museum were funded by the National Medal of Honor Center for Leadership, which is developing a national leadership program based on the core values of the Medal: courage, sacrifice, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and citizenship. Besides a digital-based curriculum, the Center for Leadership plans to build a $75 million conference center and values-based immersive experience on land adjacent to the Yorktown.

“Our Board of Directors agreed to fund the reimagined Medal of Honor Museum because we firmly believe the stories that are told within its walls will provide visitors with a deeper sense of what it means to be an American and provide inspiration for those who visit,” said Thomas Mundell, president, and chief executive officer of the National Medal of Honor Center for Leadership. “Not everyone is called to the extremes of military service as the Recipients were, but this Museum shows that leadership can be nurtured and that we all have the ability to be heroes in our homes and our communities.”

The museum’s design, by M. Catton & Co. of Le Mars, Iowa, encourages physical interaction and personal introspection, preserving the legacy of the 3,536 awards of the Medal and the 19 dual Recipients.

New artifacts will include:

  • The New Testament & Psalms and The Gospel of St. John that Medal of Honor Recipient Robert Maxwell carried in World War II.
  • Vietnam War Recipient James Fleming’s aviator gloves and the navigational analog computer” he used during the war as a helicopter pilot.
  • World War I Recipient Dwite Schaffner’s Medal of Honor and American Expeditionary ID.

The Museum opens at a time when there is renewed attention to the Medal of Honor. In March, the Society hosted a gathering of nearly 30 organizations around the country with ties to the Medal of Honor in hopes of amplifying the importance of the Medal and its core values. The Society will be the centerpiece of this in terms of coordination and promotion.

 

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