Medal of Honor Experience

Exhibit Information
  • Clock30 minutes
  • agesApproved for all ages
  • calendarPermanent Exhibit
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Beyond The Call

The Medal of Honor Experience invites visitors to explore the history of the Medal of Honor as it relates to the Army, and to learn about the award recommendation process and hierarchy of Army awards that recognize heroic actions. Located on the Museum’s third floor, this area also includes an interactive kiosk, “What Would You Do?”. This experience portrays the stories of five Medal of Honor recipients and prompts visitors to make choices and then compare their decisions against what occurred in the real scenario.

The adjacent Medal of Honor Garden overlooks the Museum Campus. The outdoor garden identifies and honors Army recipients of the nation’s highest award for valor. Recipient’s names are permanently engraved in granite along the south wall of the garden. This space provides visitors the opportunity to contemplate the values exemplified by the Medal of Honor recipients – Valor, Gallantry and Intrepidity.

Artifact Highlights

Unique Artifact

1862 -The original Army design shows the goddess Minerva fending off a man holding snakes, who symbolized discord. The 34 stars surrounding the figures represent the number of states in the Union. In each arm of the star are leaves of laurel and oak representing victory and strength.

Unique Artifact

1896 -Adoption of medals that looked very similar to the Medal of Honor by the Loyal Legion of the United States, a Civil War Veterans’ organization, prompted the U.S. Congress to change the design of the Medal’s ribbon.

Unique Artifact

1904 -On April 23, 1904, at the recommendation of recipient Maj. Gen. George L. Gillespie, Congress authorized a new design for the medal. Recipient and Ambassador to France Horace Porter had a new design prepared by the Paris firm of Arthur, Bertrand and Berenger. To protect the design, Gen. Gillespie obtained a patent that he transferred to the War Department, the precursor to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Unique Artifact

1944 -A blue neck ribbon was authorized by the Army on February 1, 1898. However, the Medal of Honor was often worn pinned on the uniform until after World War I. The new ribbon incorporated three rows of stars in a chevron pattern representing the original thirteen colonies.

“You've just got to try to do everything you can when it's your time to do it.“

Sgt. Salvatore Giunta

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