We are so lucky in Arkansas to have another world-class, national museum in the works. The future U.S. Marshals Museum will be located on the banks of the Arkansas River in Fort Smith. To kick off the 225th year of the U.S. Marshals Service, the future museum will hold a ceremony this Saturday, Nov. 9 to dedicate the cornerstone for the forthcoming museum’s Hall of Honor.
This free public event will take place at 11 a.m. at 121 Riverfront Dr. It will pay tribute to the more than 250 fallen United States marshals, including 130 from Arkansas and Oklahoma. More U.S. marshals have died in the line of service than any other law enforcement agency. The Hall of Honor is a remembrance of those men who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country dating back to 1794. It will be a permanent exhibit in the museum and will serve as a memorial to these heroes.
Keynote remarks will be given by Attorney General Ed Meese under former President Ronald Reagan, and Howard Safir, former associate director for the U.S. Marshals Service and former New York City police commissioner.
“This is an important day in the life of the museum,” said Jim Dunn, president and CEO of the museum in a press release. “We have been working for years to bring this museum to life in its permanent home here in Fort Smith. To dedicate the cornerstone of the Hall of Honor while recognizing the marshals who have sacrificed everything is a testament to their lives and the dedication of hundreds of people who have worked so hard to make this museum a reality. This Hall of Honor has the potential to become one of the sacred sites of our nation, much like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the National 9/11 Memorial.”
In addition to the cornerstone dedication, a number of educational programs will take place that afternoon in Fort Smith. Also, on Friday, Nov. 8, a trip from Fort Smith to Tahlequah, Okla., the capital of the Cherokee Nation, will give visitors a chance to learn more about the long standing and sometimes tumultuous relationship between the Native American Cherokee and the U.S. Marshals Service. Details about these activities will be available on the museum’s website at www.usmarshalsmuseum.com/.
Plans for the future museum include 20,000 square feet of exhibit space in three galleries each highlighting pivotal periods in U.S. history. People from across the world will be enriched by the teaching opportunities affording visitors a hands-on learning opportunity through powerful narratives, and audio and visual displays. Groundbreaking is set for Sept. 24, 2014 to coincide with the 225th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Marshals Service. Created in 1789, the U.S. Marshals Service is the oldest American federal law enforcement agency.