Congressional Medal of Honor museum planned in Rapid City
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City man who wrote a book about Congressional Medal of Honor recipients is now opening a museum to honor them.
John L. Johnson's museum will open Aug. 1 at the Rushmore Mall. It will have individual plaques for the more than 3,500 people recognized for valor in combat with the nation's highest military honor, along with seating areas for reflection and contemplation.
Johnson, who works as a research coordinator for the public school district, published a book about medal recipients that was updated in 2010, "Every Night and Every Morn: Portraits of Asian, Hispanic, Jewish, African-American, and Native-American Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor." He believes it is important to remember and honor a part of the nation's military history that he believes is being lost.
"I felt it was something that needed to be done," Johnson told the Rapid City Journal. "We simply don't know our history."
Museum admission will be free. Johnson is funding the effort through his own money, donations and other means.
"I plan to use my own hands, my own time and most of my own money," he said. "It's a personal project."
The Congressional Medal of Honor was first bestowed upon Union soldiers in the 1860s during the American Civil War. The museum exhibits will include 4-by-6-inch photos of each recipient with name, hometown and date of receipt, arranged in chronological order starting with the Civil War and continuing through conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com