We know that we have a ways to go to produce the skilled technology workforce that Amazon needed to locate part of its headquarters here.
That’s why we’re encouraged when we can celebrate the rich assets this region can bring to the table now. By announcing Wednesday that Arlington will be the home to the new $150 million National Medal of Honor Museum, organizers acknowledged that North Texas has always felt passionate about the need to care and honor the men and women who fought for this country.
And in choosing Arlington over finalist Denver for this first-of-its-kind museum to open in 2024, they’re giving Texans a critical role in honoring the values of service, courage and patriotism of the 3,500 fellow recipients of the nation’s highest honor of valor. Nearly 1.8 million veterans and active duty military call Texas home.
This newspaper strongly supported this deal for Arlington. Unlike some of the other public-private partnerships of which we’ve been critical because they gave too much taxpayer money to private entities, Arlington’s only give-up was the land.
Most of the money for the museum is expected to be raised from private donors. If similar past projects are any indication, North Texas philanthropists will generously come through again.
We see nothing but upside in what the region would get in return.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and other city leaders fought hard to land the museum. They know it means not just jobs, but also prestige to be able to tell the emotional tales of the lives of the Medal of Honor recipients. It’ll preserve their legacies but also help younger generations — through education programs — appreciate the sacrifices required for freedom.
In many ways, Arlington presented an easy choice. The museum will be in the already bustling entertainment district. It has built-in attractions in the homes of the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Cowboys and Six Flags, which bring in about 14 million visitors a year.
Williams sees the museum — 15 minutes from DFW International Airport — as an added piece to attract families from all over the country.
San Diego, New York City and Washington, D.C., were among the cities in the early races for this museum. Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, suggested it was the renowned Texas spirit that won over foundation officials.
“What it came down to, we could not ignore the authenticity and depth of the patriotism and the love of country we felt in Arlington and all across Texas,” Daniels said.
This is a coveted win for all of Texas. We should all be proud.