The Congressional Medal of Honor Society on Thursday signed an agreement and pledged their unconditional support for a National Medal of Honor Museum to be built at Patriots Point rather than somewhere else in the nation.
The group, meeting in Gettysburg, Pa., also pledged its support for a congressional designation of the museum, according to Patriots Point officials.
“This is a tremendous honor for Patriots Point and the state of South Carolina,” Patriots Point Development Authority Chairman Ray Chandler said. “The recipients of our nation’s highest honor for gallantry in combat could have chosen any city in our nation as the home of their legacy museum and would have been welcomed with open arms. The fact that they chose Patriots Point and our state speaks volumes for our reputation as a bastion of patriotism and national pride.”
The museum is currently located onboard the World War II-era aircraft carrier Yorktown moored in Charleston Harbor. An elaborate $100 million attraction has been proposed near the parking lot at Patriots Point as the new home of the military museum.
Chandler thanked a list of people and groups for helping to obtain the Medal of Honor Society’s approval, but he pointed out retired Maj. Gen. Jim Livingston of Mount Pleasant, a Medal of Honor recipient, for his unyielding support.
“Without those efforts and commitment, this day would not have been possible,” Chandler said.
The society’s approval was key to the museum project moving forward.
“The ratification of this agreement by all parties is the last step in the process to allow the museum foundation to begin the task of raising the funds to make the museum a reality,” Chandler added.
The museum is projected to open within 10 years.
Medal of Honor Society President Hal Fritz said he was very pleased with the agreement to place the museum in Mount Pleasant.
“I think it’s a milestone in terms of where we are going with the national Medal of Honor Museum,” Fritz, a Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, said. “It’s the right time for the right thing. We are very excited about it.”