(NBC News) — Following a nationwide search, Arlington has been selected as the location for the first-ever National Medal of Honor Museum.
The foundation behind the museum made the official announcement Wednesday evening.
Arlington beat out Denver, which was also named a finalist city.
“Arlington, Texas is the optimal location to build America’s next national treasure – the National Medal of Honor Museum,” Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, said in a statement. “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.”
Daniels also noted that 70 Medal of Honor recipients have lived in the region — and that Texas is home to nearly 1.8 million veterans and active duty military.
The museum will be built on land between E-sports Stadium Arlington and Globe Life Park, in the heart of the city’s entertainment district.
City leaders, museum officials, and other dignitaries will hold a formal press conference Friday, where they’ll reveal more details about the project.
“Arlington, Texas is honored to be entrusted as the home of the National Medal of Honor Museum,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said in a statement. “Located in the heart of our nation, we look forward to commemorating the stories of the 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients to educate, inspire, and motivate our youth to understand the meaning and price of freedom. We are excited and humbled to provide a national platform to spread this message throughout our great country.”
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest and most prestigious military award, given only to service members who have distinguished themselves with acts of valor during combat.
Since it was first awarded in 1863, only 3,505 service members have ever received the Medal of Honor.
The museum will use state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits will help share their stories and highlight the “historical thread of sacrifice, patriotism, and courage” that runs through all service members.
The museum is expected to open in 2024.
“On behalf of the people of Texas, I welcome the National Medal of Honor Museum to the Lone Star State,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a statement. “There is no better place to honor and preserve the legacy of our nation’s Medal of Honor recipients than in this patriotic city. We are well known for our Texas pride – and we are extremely proud that Arlington, which brings visitors from across our great nation and the world, was chosen as the home of a museum that will surely become a national icon.”