CHATTANOOGA — A heritage center dedicated to the Medal of Honor will establish itself in Tennessee.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported The Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center launched its veterans charter membership campaign to open its doors by 2020.
The center plans to open in a 19,000-square-foot (1800-sq. meter), two-story building in downtown Chattanooga that was to house the failed Chattanooga History Center, after community objections to a plan to build a 6,800-square-foot (630-sq. meter) facility in Coolidge Park.
Center board chairman Major General Bill Raines said the facility is not intended to be a monument to the United States’ highest military honor, but rather an educational and inspiring center that tells recipients’ stories and honors integral character traits.
According to the heritage center’s website, the Medal of Honor was created in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln and is the highest military decoration one can receive. It recognizes soldiers who risks their own life to go “above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against the enemy of the United States.”
The medal has been awarded to 3,500 individuals.
Approximately 32 of those men were from the state of Tennessee.