Uniquely positioned overlooking the Museum Campus, the Medal of Honor Garden at the National Museum of the United States Army offers a space for visitors to learn more about the award and honor Army recipients of the nation’s highest medal for valor.
As in the Museum’s galleries, the Medal of Honor Garden tells Army history through Soldier stories. The garden features select stories of recipients from all eras, including Sergeant William H. Carney, the first African-American to receive the medal for his actions with the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War; Private First Class Emory L. Bennett who was mortally wounded near Sobangsan, Korea, in 1952; and Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta for his heroic actions in Afghanistan.
Engraved stainless-steel panels nestled along the rooftop plantings share the history of the medal and illustrate the locations where the medal was earned. The significance of the medal’s design is also explored. For example, visitors learn that the laurel wreath— often used to signify victory, gratitude, heroism, and honor— was incorporated into the design of the Medal of Honor in 1904 to represent these core qualities.
As a tribute to the memory of all past, present, and future Medal of Honor recipients, evergreen perennials and foliage are planted throughout the garden as symbols of appreciation to those who have distinguished themselves above and beyond the call of duty.
The garden is a modern and unique venue that will offer the perfect backdrop for retirement or promotion ceremonies with beautiful views of the Museum’s campus.
The south side of the garden is anchored by a black granite wall etched with the names of all Army Medal of Honor recipients. Beyond this wall, the visitor transitions indoors to the Medal of Honor Gallery and an adjacent rotating exhibit gallery hosting the Nisei Soldier Experience.
The space encapsules the gratitude of the American people to those Soldiers who have received this impressive honor. By sharing their stories of valor, gallantry, and intrepidity, and recognizing their legacy, the Museum’s Medal of Honor Garden recognizes and preserves the memory of this elite group of individuals.