Medal of Honor recipients will be honored this weekend for Veteran's Day.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award in the nation for valor on the battlefield. On Sunday, a "Salute to Service" halftime show at the Dallas Cowboys' football game against the New York Giants will honor 16 recipients, including Seattle native Lt. Col. William Swenson.
"I'll be out there on the field on that day,' he said. "What we'll be representing, though, is the character of all Americans and the heroism that all Americans have access to through their everyday lives."
President Abraham Lincoln created the Medal of Honor 160 years ago. It's a highly selective award, with only about 3,500 people receiving it, of which 65 are alive today. The Medal of Honor Museum is being built in Arlington, Texas and Congress has approved a monument for the award in Washington, D.C. New legislation in Congress this year would ensure that monument is located within 1,000 feet of the Lincoln Memorial.
The museum has also announced its leadership institute, known as the Griffin Institute, in honor of Ken Griffin, who gave the museum $30 million.
Chris Cassidy, president and CEO of the museum's foundation, said the museum is meant to highlight the many ways people serve the country, including as first responders, police, nurses and teachers.
"The future of our nation depends upon people volunteering to serve in whatever capacity that is," he said. "So that's what we aim to do is inspire people for service through programs in our institute and visitation of our museum and walking along the National Mall and seeing all the inspirational things that are already there."
Swenson said the museum's leadership institute will play a critical role.
"Ultimately, it's the character that's the most important thing about the Medal of Honor," he said. "So the Griffin Institute will ensure that this character is projected out into a broader space and we will change the lives of Americans with these stories."