WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-District 1) has scored a victory on Capitol Hill for military heroes.
“Signed, sealed and delivered!” Moore crowed on Wednesday, celebrating President Joe Biden’s signing of The National Medal of Honor Monument Act that was co-authored by the freshman congressman and Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX).
“This is a great bipartisan win that will immortalize the sacrifices of America’s brave service members,” Moore added.
The joint measure signed into law by Biden authorizes representatives of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation to begin soliciting public contributions for a Medal of Honor monument to be established on federal land in Washington, D.C.
Moore and Veasey introduced The National Medal of Honor Monument Act in spring of this year and that measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously in July.
A companion bill, introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), unanimously passed the U.S. Senate in early December.
“Thank you to all who made this possible,” Moore said Wednesday, addressing all his House and Senate colleagues.
The Medal of Honor in the United States’ highest military decoration and is awarded to U.S. service members who have distinguished themselves with extraordinary feats of valor. It is awarded very rarely and only to those whose service and sacrifice far exceed the call of duty.
Moore’s staff members report that of roughly 9,500 bills introduced in both chambers of the 117th Congress during the past year, only 95 have passed both the House and the Senate.
Moore added that The National Medal of Honor Monument Act was strongly supported by lawmakers on both side of Capitol Hill because that monument “… will pay homage to the values that the Medal of Honor represents – courage, patriotism, citizenship, integrity, commitment and sacrifice – and to the fewer than 4,000 brave individuals who have earned that decoration in service to their country.”
Construction of a National Medal of Honor Museum is slated to begin soon in Arlington, TX.
The museum’s mission is to highlight “the stories of Medal of Honor recipients, unite Americans around the ideals embodied by that decoration and inspire every citizen to look for ways to unselfishly serve their own communities.”
The members of the museum’s foundation will now also be responsible for fundraising for the Medal of Honor Memorial, because no federal funds will be used for its construction.
The Medal of Honor is America’s the oldest continuously issued combat decoration, dating back to the U.S. Civil War era.
The president typically presents the Medal of Honor at a formal ceremony intended to express “the gratitude of Congress and the American people.” The text of that trademark citation is the reason why the decoration is often mistakenly referred to as “the Congressional Medal of Honor.”
Of the literally millions of Americans who have served in U.S. armed forces since the 1860s, only about 3,500 have earned the Medal of Honor.
Although legend has it that the Medal of Honor is almost always awarded posthumously, the reality is that the decoration has only been issued to the next of kin of about 600 fallen heroes in the past 160 years.