Thank you for taking time to learn about the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. We designed our extensive facility to tell the real-life stories of ordinary people who, when met with the most difficult circumstances imaginable, displayed extraordinary valor.
Each of our immersive exhibits combines the sights and sounds of the Medal of Honor narratives with the power and immediacy of the days that changed the lives of these heroes forever. Their experiences are emotional and engaging, creating a compelling and memorable encounter for each of our visitors.
The Heritage Center will serve as a lasting tribute to the recipients of the Medal of Honor and as a touchstone and educational resource for future generations of heroes.
The Heritage Center will tell the story of Alvin York, who charged virtually on his own into deadly machine-gun fire to capture 132 enemy soldiers. Visitors will learn of Desmond Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist who refused to use a weapon in combat but became one of our greatest war heroes by saving the lives of 75 men through his devotion to God and country. Charles Coolidge, whose name the Heritage Center bears, faced two Panzer tanks from a range of 25 yards, rallying a handful of inexperienced replacements to fend off battle-hardened German troops during four days of continuous fighting.
Imagine Mitchell Stout’s using his body as a shield to protect his fellow soldiers from an enemy’s grenade, giving his own life in exchange for theirs. Visitors will learn of Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman so far to receive the Medal of Honor, who treated wounded Union soldiers in Chattanooga during the Civil War “to the detriment of her own health” and displayed unmatched bravery and courage through months spent as a prisoner of war.
Another Medal recipient, Arthur MacArthur, seized his regiment’s standard and, while singing On Wisconsin, charged Missionary Ridge and planted the flag in the middle of the Confederate fortifications. His action inspired the Union regiment as they took the ridge and drove the Confederate Army out of the crucial rail center of Chattanooga. His son, Douglas MacArthur, would also receive a Medal of Honor in World War II, securing their place as the first father-son recipients of this prestigious award.
These are just a few of the nearly 3,500 amazing, inspiring and often heartbreaking stories of our country’s Medal of Honor recipients. Together, we are curators of these stories, and it is our shared mission to present them in a way that celebrates their extraordinary courage and inspires future generations to make the world a better place.
The campaign to fund the new National Medal of Honor Heritage Center has entered its final phase, and we hope you will join our efforts by completing the information below to make a secure, online donation in support of this worthy endeavor. With your financial support, we can move one step closer to creating a national home and lasting tribute to these genuine American heroes who represent the best and bravest values of all who have served and sacrificed in defense of our nation.
Please give generously. Our nation’s heroes have sacrificed for us, and now it is our turn to honor them.