There’s a lot of love going toward the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor right now.
Beginning this November, the site commences a massive $17 million expansion to increase exhibit space and tell the stories of individuals who have earned the award. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the project on Veterans Day as part of a statewide recognition of the 750,000 veterans in New York.
“The expansion of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor will serve as a tribute to these men and women who have made our freedom possible and ensure we never forget their service and sacrifice,” he says.
In addition to commemorating the nation’s servicemembers, the project also pays tribute to war hero Senator Larkin, who played a critical role in establishing the museum in 2006.
The New Windsor hall closes for construction starting on November 15. Over the course of a year, the site will welcome nearly 4,300 square feet of new or renovated exhibit space. Once complete, the destination will be a ground for storytelling, designed to shed light on the approximately 1.8 million Americans who have received the service medal.
Exhibits will incorporate a variety of media, including interpretive graphics and touch-screen monitors, to depict everything from the unpredictable nature of warfare to the tumultuous journey to recovery. To supplement the exhibits, the hall also maintains an online Honor Roll with Purple Heart recipients from across the 50 states and American territories.
“The range of stories that this hall will be able to tell will be even more compelling,” observes State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. “This will be a destination for anyone who wants to know what the cost of freedom truly is.”
Due to the scope of the renovation, the Hall of Honor and the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site galleries next-door will close until November 2020. Through it all, the Cantonment grounds will remain open, and a temporary Purple Heart exhibit will be available to the public at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh. There will also be a traveling display at the New York State Fair and across the state throughout the year.
Have you been to the Purple Heart Hall of Honor? Let us know what you think about the renovation in the comments!
Related: Discover the Purple Heart’s Humble Hudson Valley Origins