"The solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom" ~ Abraham Lincoln.
I took a photo, of this dramatic photo, at "The Center of American Values," located on the Riverwalk in Pueblo, Colorado. On this Memorial Day, May 27th, we honor the military men and women who so bravely sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom. May we also remember those who have been gravely injured in battle, whose lives will never be the same, and the brave men and women who continue to serve our country in our armed forces.
"The Center for American Values organizational mission is based on the need for a national initiative to identify, document, and disseminate information about individuals, groups, and organizations whose character attributes relate directly to the values this great country was founded on."
Pueblo, Colorado is the location for The Center of American Values as it is known as the "Home of Heroes." Pueblo has the unique distinction of being the home of four Congressional Medal of Honors recipients. The center's visionary and co-founder is Pueblo's own Medal of Honor recipient, Drew Dix. The center's mission stems from Dix's personal desire for all generations to understand and never lose sight of scarifies made by civilians and veterans alike to elevate America as the greatest country in the world. I visited Pueblo, Colorado with my daughter last summer, when she was on a business trip, and I was very moved by my visit to the Center, and felt you would like to learn about it for this Memorial Day weekend
The Center is located on the historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, Colorado. The Riverwalk is a beautiful 32 acre urban waterfront park, with amenities such as boat rides, food, special events and shopping. I'll show you more about my visit to the Pueblo, Colorado, Riverwalk on a future blog post.
The Center allows it's space to be used for organizations in need of meeting facilities specific to promoting character and leadership development curriculum, educational seminars, executive study groups, conferences, special events, ceremonial activities, and public tours.
The Center of American Values contains an extraordinary collection of photographic portraits and documentation of over 140 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty, and was awarded for the first time during the Civil War. Fewer than 3,500 have been awarded since then. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of Congress to US military personnel only. There are three versions of the medal, one for the Navy, one for the Army and one for the Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard receive the Navy version.
Double click to read this explanation about the "Portraits of Valor" exhibition by photographer Nick Del Calzo, to which he devoted for six years of taking portraits of living Medal of Honor recipients.
Many have received the medal award posthumously over the years, as they were killed as the result of their heroic actions. Since the beginning of World War II only 863 Medals of Honor have been awarded. Over half that number died in their moment of heroism. Only 332 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen from Pearl Harbor to the Global War on Terrorism have survived to actually wear the medal. Today only 80 of them are still alive
The portraits all hang on the walls of The Center For American Values. Each and every man was photographed with a backdrop that was meaningful to him, and each portrait was accompanied by an inspirational quote or statement chosen by the recipient. I found the exhibit to be one of the most emotionally moving exhibits that I have ever seen. Many of the photos and quotes brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine the things these men saw and did to earn this medal, but it has obviously impacted their entire lives.
As you can see there were places to sit and view the portraits that hung all around the room, or you could walk up to each and every one.
The valor of each man was etched into his face. .
The diversity of the men reminded me that our country is made up of many ethnicity's, which has become part of our country's great strength
Young and old, it was stirring to see each and every portrait. You can double click on each photo collage to enlarge it, and you can see the entire collection of portraits, as well as read the quotation under it, at this link.
The Center also had some interactive exhibits about the Medal of Honor
This interesting fact revealed that only one woman has been awarded the honor up to this date, and that was during the Civil War. Double click on the photo to read more.
"Everyone welcomes recognition ... but the ones who truly deserve it most are those Americans who gave their lives for this country." ~ Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore A. Giunta.
May we stop a few moments this weekend and remember and honor all those who have served, and are now serving, in our armed forces, especially those who have so gallantly given up their lives. May we also hope and pray that peace will one day reign around the world for future generations.
I'm linking this post to the following blog events:
Oh, the Places I've Been
Our World Tuesday
Thank you to all the blog hosts!