The Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor on the battlefield, will be in the spotlight during a “Salute to Service” halftime show at the Dallas Cowboys football game against the New York Giants on Sunday, November 12, 2023, at 3:25 pm. Among the 16 recipients honored is Seattle native Lt. Col. William Swenson.
“I’ll be out there on the field on that day,” he said. “What we’ll be representing, though, is the character of all Americans and the heroism that all Americans have access to through their everyday lives.”
President Abraham Lincoln created the Medal of Honor 160 years ago. It is a highly selective award, with only about 3,500 people receiving it, of which 65 are alive today. The Medal of Honor Museum, currently under construction in Arlington, Texas, along with a newly approved monument for the award in Washington, D.C., will further commemorate these heroes. New legislation in Congress this year aims to ensure that the monument is located within 1,000 feet of the Lincoln Memorial.
The museum has also announced its leadership institute, named the Griffin Institute in honor of Ken Griffin, who donated $30 million to the museum.
Chris Cassidy, president and CEO of the museum’s foundation, emphasized the museum’s role in highlighting various forms of service to the country, including first responders, police, nurses, and teachers.
“The future of our nation depends upon people volunteering to serve in whatever capacity that is,” he said. “So that’s what we aim to do is inspire people for service through programs in our institute and visitation of our museum and walking along the National Mall and seeing all the inspirational things that are already there.”
Swenson noted the critical role of the museum’s leadership institute. “Ultimately, it’s the character that’s the most important thing about the Medal of Honor,” he said. “So the Griffin Institute will ensure that this character is projected out into a broader space and we will change the lives of Americans with these stories.”