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CEO speaks about Denver’s chances of winning National Medal of Honor Museum

DENVER -- The Medal of Honor is this nation's highest military honor and until now, no museum has existed to honor recipients.

That will soon change.

Denver is one of two finalist cities for the site of the future museum. The other finalist is Arlington, Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"We are looking to make our decision by the beginning of October," said Joe Daniels, the CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation. "Denver has a 50/50 shot and every time we come out here, the reception has been wonderful."

Daniels previously ran the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York.

The proposed location is currently parking lot across the street from the State Capitol at the corner of Lincoln Street and East Colfax Avenue.

However, the project hit a minor snag Tuesday night when RTD rejected a proposal to lease the museum space near their bus terminal for the project.

"Having a beautiful park as a procession as you lead into the National Medal of Honor Museum is very important to the project and they've committed to continuing discussions," Daniels said.

Gov. Jared Polis and Mayor Michael Hancock have both previously met with Daniels and have been supportive of the project.

Denver City Council Member Chris Hinds, whose district includes the proposed site, says the city wants the project to move forward.

"I'm happy to work with RTD," Hinds said. "It is an amazing spot for the National Medal of Honor Museum."

Colorado was chosen as one of the potential locations for the museum because its founders want it to be located in the heart of the country to accompany the planned monument in Washington, D.C.

Colorado's strong military history also plays a major role, not to mention the fact that no major national museum is located in downtown Denver.

"Colorado has somewhere between 13 and 22 people who are recipients that have moved here or [were] been born here, so it is an incredibly patriotic state," Daniels said.

Pueblo is home to four Medal of Honor recipients. However, Daniels says a museum of this size needs to be in a major American city in order to attract enough visitors to be financially viable.

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