September 20, 2002
12:41 PM   Subscribe

Here's something that shouldn't be allowed to happen - The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum is threatened with closure.
posted by Pressed Rat (7 comments total)
Why shouldn't it happen? The museum was started by one guy in 1988 and averaged 13 visitors a day. Somehow, I don't think their honor will be besmirched by the closure of a facility that wasn't doing all that much for them in the first place.
posted by rcade at 1:21 PM on September 20, 2002

Actually, that would be 13.69863 people a day, assuming it was open 365 days a year. The point is, I suppose, that it seems worthwhile keeping alive the memory of the heroism and sacrifice of those individuals awarded the CMH, and a museum that serve's as a repository/archive of historical information of interest from the donation provided to it by other servicemen/women. Sure, there's others - but not everyone can go to New Orleans for the D-Day museum, or to DC or elsewhere. Most young people have precious little sense of our history and the sacrifices of those who bled to preserve the freedoms we either take for granted or rail about here when discussing the effect on the Bill of Rights of the "Patriot Act." It's a good thing to know where you came from so that you can better value where you are and what got you here, don't you think?
posted by Pressed Rat at 1:35 PM on September 20, 2002

While I agree with the general sentiment, there's a tendency in modern life to memorialize everything with its own day, week, month, and/or museum. I think we need to practice some remembrance evolution from time to time.
posted by rcade at 1:59 PM on September 20, 2002

Speaking as a veteran, I would like to point out that the Medal of Honor is itself the remembrance of a heroic act. A museum is no more than a redundancy.

"In 1973, the U.S. Senate ordered the citations compiled and printed as Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973). This book was later updated and reprinted in 1979."

If anything, the Honor of the Medal is trivialized by locating such a museum in some remote city with no relationship with the Medal's history.
posted by mischief at 2:35 PM on September 20, 2002

If anything, the Honor of the Medal is trivialized by locating such a museum in some remote city with no relationship with the Medal's history.

Make a Library and host it there.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:01 PM on September 20, 2002

If they can find a more viable and logical site to move it to -- my nomination goes to Washington, DC or nearby Alexandria, VA -- they ought to consolidated it with this one aboard the USS Yorktown (CV-10) in Charleston harbor. They may not even be aware of the redundancy.
posted by alumshubby at 8:31 PM on September 20, 2002

It seems like a terrific collection has been amassed, but often these obscure, single-purpose museums are not served well by independence. They should find a home for this, one that will be accessible to more people, and where the collection can be properly cared for. The mechanics of bringing up a new museum can be horrendously taxing, and they have a white elephant instead of a gleaming home. They need to create a proper board devoted to fundraising, plan a professional capital campaign, and work to create a permanent endowment. Instead it looks like they're just blundering forward, which is unfortunate.
posted by dhartung at 10:39 PM on September 20, 2002

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