Jerry Jones, owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, announced a $20 million donation from his family to the National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington, raising the total funds raised to $70 million.
The donation was announced on March 25 – National Medal of Honor Day, a day to recognize the heroism and sacrifice of Americans awarded the nation’s highest award for valor in combat: the Medal of Honor, the museum said in a news release.
Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Cowboys, serves as Chairman of the Board for the Museum.
The official day of recognition was designated by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, marking the day the very first Medals of Honor were awarded in 1863 during the Civil War.
The Jones family’s generous contribution brings the Museum one step closer to beginning construction in Arlington next year and opening its doors in 2024. The National Medal of Honor Monument Act currently moving through Congress is another key component of this project.
“Anyone who is successful in business has at times stood on the shoulders of others,” Jones said in the news release. “Never in my life have I had the opportunity to stand beside those who have given so much for the defense of freedom and our way of life. Medal of Honor recipients represent the very best of America and the values to which all heroes aspire. Supporting this project is a privilege.”
The museum held a Moment of Honor at 3:25 p.m. for a moment of quiet reflection on the bravery of those who have given so much for their country. Governors from 16 states joined the museum in observing the day and issued proclamations to mark Medal of Honor Day.
“National Medal of Honor Day is a time for all Americans to come together and reflect upon the actions of our nation’s Medal of Honor recipients, as well as the values they represent – courage, commitment, integrity, sacrifice, citizenship and patriotism. Now more than ever, it is important to take a moment to give thanks to those who have given so much in defense of our way of life and those who continue to serve our nation,” museum CEO James T. Connors said.
The Museum’s #MissionInspire podcast this month also featured two of America’s most recent Medal of Honor recipients, Sgt. Maj. Matthew Williams and Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne. The recipients discussed how their lives have changed since receiving the Medal, what it felt like to get “the call,” the significance of National Medal of Honor Day, and why the Museum’s mission to build a place where all Americans may visit and learn about the values inherent in the Medal of Honor is so important.