EDITORIAL: Fighting for Pueblo’s honor
File this one under the category of “it’s never too late to do the right thing.” That’s the message U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is sending to the people who run the National Medal of Honor Museum.
The museum is planning to relocate and has narrowed its list of finalists to two cities, Denver and Arlington, Texas. But the 3rd District Republican recently sent out a letter to Joe Daniels, the museum’s chief executive officer, urging that Pueblo be selected as the institution’s new home instead.
Which makes all the sense in the world. As Tipton pointed out in his letter, Pueblo has long been known as the “Home of Heroes” in tribute to the city’s four Medal of Honor recipients.
Also, Pueblo is home to the Center for American Values, a nonprofit co-founded by Drew Dix — one of those Medal of Honor recipients — that is dedicated to promoting the values upon which our country was founded.
Also, Pueblo has hosted two Congressional Medal of Honor Society conventions over the last 15 years, both of which were attended by more than 35 living Medal of Honor recipients from throughout the country.
Those are just some of the points Tipton covered in his letter. There are other reasons why Pueblo should be the museum’s new home.
Remember in 2017, the Expedia travel website named Pueblo among the nation’s 17 most patriotic cities and towns. The website’s list included communities both large and small, stretching from coast to coast. But it’s worth noting that neither Denver nor Arlington made that list.
Pueblo also is home to the Weisbrod Aircraft Museum, which is as much a tribute to the American military as it is to aviation.
If having an active military presence is a criteria used in the selection process, we have the Pueblo Chemical Depot.
Plus, Pueblo is home to many retired veterans who play a large and very active role in shaping the fabric of our community.
To put it simply, having the museum here would mean more than it would to Denver or Arlington. Both of those cities are part of large metropolitan areas filled with many tourist attractions. Adding the museum to the mix would have a negligible impact on either area’s total number of annual visitors.
In Pueblo, by contrast, the museum would be one of our premiere tourist attractions and could provide a significant boost to our local economy.
Given our military tradition and history, it would be honorable for Denver officials to withdraw their bid for the museum and recommend that Pueblo be selected in their city’s place. We’re not going to hold our breath waiting for that to happen, though.
It may be that Tipton’s overture is coming too late in the process to get Pueblo serious consideration as a potential site for the museum. However, he does deserve credit for trying.
Unless Daniels and the museum’s board of directors have their minds made up, there’s a strong case to be made for Pueblo. Let’s hope they have the wisdom and the mental flexibility to recognize that.