First of its Kind Interactive Exhibit Connects Places of Valor Around the Globe
Mary Koik, Trust, (202) 367-1861 x7231
Kathleen Blomquist, CMOHS, (843) 868-1465
(Charleston, S.C.) – Guests marking Medal of Honor Day, March 25, with a visit to the Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will be among the first to experience a new interactive exhibit connecting places of valor like never before. The touchscreen-enabled global citation map pinpointing each of the 3,516 actions for which Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor is the first on-site component of the Medal of Honor Valor Trail™, a joint effort of the American Battlefield Trust and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
“The American Battlefield Trust is rooted in the power of place,” said David Duncan, president of the organization devoted to historic land preservation. “The incredible stories of those who have earned our nation’s highest honor gain a new level of significance when considered in their geographical context and we’re honored to help advance that storytelling.”
Laura Jowdy, the society’s director of archives, collections and museum agreed, noting: “We firmly believe in the mantra ‘Every Medal, a story to be told. Every Recipient a part of something greater.’ This exhibit offers a powerful visualization of that holistic concept and provides an exciting new hands-on experience for visitors to the museum.”
To celebrate Medal of Honor Day — marking the 160th anniversary of the first medals being awarded to Andrews’ Raiders, whose exploits 200 miles behind Confederate lines were immortalized as The Great Locomotive Chase — Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society are hosting special behind-the-scenes storytelling tours throughout the weekend. Those who attend these special tours will be among the first to experience the new Valor Trail exhibit. Special Medal of Honor Checkpoints are also scattered throughout Patriots Point with volunteers on hand to connect visitors to the Medal of Honor stories connected to exhibits.
Even if it were only a static plotting the battlefields and other sites — from fields of Gettysburg, Pa., to the shores of the Normandy Beaches to the mountains of Afghanistan — at which those incredible acts of valor were performed, the map would be innovative, providing a unique view of American military involvement during the past 160 years. But each point is tied to biographical information about the recipient and specific details of the individual citation. The large format touchscreen exhibit was designed and fabricated by Interactive Knowledge, a longtime Trust partner and collaborator committed to delivering meaningful web and mobile applications, augmented reality experiences, and impactful interactive exhibits for the nation’s leading cultural, educational, and public institutions.
Exciting in its own right, the new exhibit is also the precursor to a broader reimagining of the Medal of Honor Museum in the coming years, thanks to a major gift from the National Medal of Honor Leadership and Education Center announced last week directly targeted towards expanding and enhancing the space.
The Medal of Honor Valor Trail™ initiative spans the full lineage of the Medal of Honor, from its Civil War origins into the 21st century. It is designed to connect the places most deeply connected to the lives and legacies of recipients — from battlefields to burial places, memorials to museums, hometowns to namesake sites. By connecting the many venues that tell a portion of the Medal of Honor story, the Valor Trail is creating a community of sites that together illuminate the core values of service that spans centuries.
About the Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients, inspiring Americans, and supporting the Recipients as they connect with communities across the country. Chartered by Congress in 1958, its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. There are 65 living Recipients. As part of Public Law 106-83, the Medal of Honor Memorial Act, the Medal of Honor Museum, which is co-located with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s headquarters on board the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was designated as one of three national Medal of Honor sites. Learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s initiatives at cmohs.org.
About the Trust
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 56,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War across 155 sites in 25 states. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.