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'It's Very Touching': Denver One Of 2 Finalists For Museum Of Valor

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver could one day be home to a new national treasure. Denver and Arlington, Texas are the finalist cities for a Medal of Honor Museum.

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(credit: Medal Of Honor Museum)

A decision is expected in the next few weeks. On Tuesday, a military color guard began a ceremony to show off the site at Lincoln St. and E. Colfax Ave. and honor
two of the medal's recipients who were on hand.

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(credit: CBS)

The event was held in the simple parking lot that could one day become an interactive museum to honor valor and to vividly tell the stories of Medal of Honor recipients, the nation's highest personal military award.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger spoke with one of the 71 still alive, Army Maj. Will Swenson who said, "When you come out to a spot like this and see the level of support from the people of Denver of Colorado it's very touching."

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(credit: CBS)

What is beyond touching are his actions of Sept. 8, 2009 on a battlefield in Afghanistan.

"We had an enemy that was within hand grenade range," Swenson recalled to CBS News in 2013.

His sergeant and friend, Kenneth Westbrook was seriously injured in the six hour firefight with the Taliban.

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Sgt. First Class Kenneth Westbrook (credit: CBS)

"He had broken bones, a bullet had gone into his chest, he was bleeding profusely," said Swenson, whose valor was captured by helmet cameras from a med-evac helicopter.

"I did not know the existence of that video. I did not remember that moment. I couldn't look back and see that moment in my memory and so it was lost," said Swenson.

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(credit: CBS)

Including his giving his comrade a kiss, the last time he would see him before his death. Swenson then returned to battle and recovered the bodies of four marines.

For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor by then President Barack Obama, the army's first since the Vietnam War.

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(credit: CBS)

The museum's founder Joe Daniels said he felt "an incredibly warm embrace" during this visit to Denver. He said the location for the museum is going to be a very tough decision.

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