On Veterans Day we reflect on, and celebrate, those people who have fought for our rights and upheld our American values, both today and throughout history. Thank you, to all of our service men and woman for putting your lives on the lines to keep America strong and to keep us safe. Thank you, every day!
In September I visited the Center for American Values, in Pueblo, CO. I didn't realize, at the time, how touching this collection and the information would be. I walked into the beautiful open room, with pictures covering each wall, and to be honest, I was less than thrilled. I guess I am still a child at heart and prefer to 'do' things rather than to look at static displays.
Each recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, other than those granted posthumously and those who died prior to the project, has a portrait on the walls of the center. The Portraits of Valor are arranged in groups by armed conflict. Each portrait was taken of the Medal of Honor Recipient in a location of his choice. Some are wearing their uniforms, some are pictured in their homes, some are pictured doing something they love. Under each portrait is a quotation from the recipient. One can't help but be touched by reading the Patriotic, encouraging sentiments of these great soldiers. But this program goes far beyond the display. The Center has been involved in a "Narratives" project. They have been collecting audio recordings and video footage, a collection of recollections of the recipients. These are accessible on iPads when one visits the center. Visitors can lounge in the comfortable chairs and browse the portraits, or search for a specific medal recipient. Each recipient's citation is linked to the portrait. Additionally one can hear voices from the past, or see outstanding video footage describing experiences the recipients had in conflict that caused them to earn the Medal of Honor. The inanimate portraits of valor on the wall come alive for visitors.
I am in awe of everything this center has to offer, and I am grateful that these voices are being kept alive for all Americans to hear.