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Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge
1601 Valley Forge Road; PO Box 67, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania 19481
This special night will honor those who have received the Medal Of Honor and to raise funds to help upkeep the 53 acres of land that represents those who have received the Medal of Honor.
The Medal of Honor Grove at the Freedoms Foundation is located on Route 23 on the edge of Valley Forge National Park along the wooded area along the Schuylkill River. This fifty three acres of land as of July 2015 honors 3447 recipients of our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. Over seventy of these recipients are still living today. Each state of the union has an obelisk representing it’s state. Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are also represented. The Ancient Order of Hibernians also erected an obelisk representing those soldiers who received the Medal of Honor but were not citizens of the United States but served in the American Armed Forces. There are one hundred and fifty names on the AOH obelisk from at least fourteen different countries. These soldiers could not be accredited to a state because of no documentation as Americans. But they served defending America and some died. The Knights of Columbus have an obelisk that represent the Chaplin’s who received the Medal of Honor across from the AOH obelisk. These two plots of land are at the entry way of the Medal of Honor Grove.
Three years ago the word was out about a housing development going up at the Medal of honor Grove. The grove itself was overgrown with shrubs, trees and fallen timber everywhere. The markers who’s names of those honored at each obelisk were in disarray. And the obelisk themselves were soiled with mold and discolored. The lack of funds and neglect made it difficult to maintain the fifty three acres of land.
AOH member Mick Dunleavy along with AOH Past National President Seamus Boyle helped organized a three day cleanup of the grove along with other organizations and political groups. When it was time AOH members, Veterans Groups, Boy Scouts, National Guard and many other organizations that amounted to one thousand workers over that three days back In October of 2010. Tons and tons of debris was gathered and taken away to be recycled and much of the overgrowth was removed and cleaned up at each state.
Each year now many volunteers still gather to keep up what they have started eight years ago. But it’s work that has to continue each year and more work is needed to be concentrated on other items that needed repairs and improvements and other sections of the grove.
What came out of this was the organization of The Friends of the Medal of Honor in 2011. A 501c3 nonprofit corporation that organizes the clean ups of the grove and other improvements of the property along with trying to raise funds to help maintain the structures within the grove. With the help of the Friends of the Medal of Honor in 2017 they obtained a preservation easement for the grove and with that the Natural Land Trust is now in effect which now permanently preserves the Medal of Honor Grove for what it was intended to do. Honor Those Who Went Beyond The Call to Duty!
Instituted by President Lincoln during the Civil War, The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. This Award is presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of American in the name of Congress.
To help out with the cost of cleanup and repairs of the Medal of Honor Grove, on Wednesday June 13th at 7 pm the Irish Thunder Pipes and Drums will perform in concert. Vocalist Sara Agnew will sing a few songs and a Carillion performance will take place. Mark Ryan President of the AOH Notre Dame Division and a Board of Director member of the Friends Medal of Honor Grove is organizing this event to help raise funds. The concert is free but a good will donation will be gladly accepted.
If you can’t make it to the concert or just wish to make a donation please send checks to Friend of the Medal of Honor Grove, PO Box 3039, West Chester Pa 19381. Credit card donations can be made online at friendsmohgrove.org