Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge
The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian educational organization, founded in 1949. The Foundation is located adjacent to the Valley Forge National Historical Park, near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, U.S., and sits on ground that was once part of General George Washington's Valley Forge encampment during the American Revolutionary War.
Bill of Responsibilities
In 1985, the Foundation developed a "Bill of Responsibilities" as part of its worldwide educational efforts. It was meant to be a corollary to the Bill of Rights.
The Foundation is known for its awards programs honoring Americans from all walks of life, organizations and institutions who set examples in responsible citizenship, free enterprise education, and long-term civic accomplishment.
- Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education
- Distinguished Award
- American Patriots Medal. Past winners have included Helen Hayes, John Wayne, Gene Autry, and the Texas State Representative Clay Smothers.
- George Washington Honor Medal. This medal is awarded in the following categories:
Medal of Honor Grove
As part of its mission to promote responsible citizenship, character and freedom, the Foundation maintains the nation’s only living testimony dedicated to recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor. The Medal of Honor Grove consists of fifty-two acres of woodland. Within the grove, each acre is dedicated to one of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Each acre contains an obelisk that features a dedication plaque, plus the seal of that state, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico, plus a list of Medal of Honor recipients from that state, D.C., or Puerto Rico. In most cases, a tree has been planted for each recipient, along with a tree marker that contains the name, rank, unit, and date and place of action for the recipient. "America's Walk of Honor" was dedicated in April 1997, to allow visitors an opportunity to walk the grounds of the Medal of Honor Grove. American artist Peter Max designed the first stone on the Walk of Honor.
At the foundation are ninety volumes of research on Medal of Honor recipients, including photographs, sketches, biographies, and handwritten citations.
The grove is supported by the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove, a nonprofit organization which seeks to maintain and upgrade the fifty-two acres of the woodland park, in honor of Medal of Honor recipients.
Involvement with the Boy Scouts of America
Since 1949, Freedoms Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America have worked together on numerous projects. This partnership has been renewed with the creation of the Price of Freedom conference.
The Price of Freedom Conference is a four-day residential program that allows participants the opportunity to interact with experts on current issues of citizenship, patriotism, leadership, and heroism. Participants have the opportunity to make history come to life as they tour colonial Philadelphia and Valley Forge NHP, the site of the 1950, 1957, and 1964 Boy Scout jamborees.
The goals of this program are to:
- Motivate participants to think about themselves and their goals and values, and stimulate and commit them to serious participation in American society.
- Develop leadership skills and build self-reliance and self-esteem.
- Challenge participants to develop an understanding of what good citizenship means and what it takes to achieve it.
- Explore the concept of an American hero and define heroism.
- Develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the sacrifices made by individuals in defense of liberty and the democratic way of life.
During the Red Scare, Civitan International was an active financial supporter of the Freedoms Foundation. The Civitan organization donated a 22-ton American credo monument in 1965. The Freedoms Foundation received $210,000 in grants from 1986 to 2005 from conservative foundations, including the John M. Olin Foundation (Olin Industries) and Castle Rock Foundation (Coors). The annual Leavey Awards are funded by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation of Los Angeles.
- Leavey Awards. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "66th Legislature, Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary". lrl.state.tx.us. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- Military Essay. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Youth Essay/Speech. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Community Entry. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Schools Entry. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Public Communications. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Special Events. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Medal Of Honor Grove. Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Woodall, Martha (October 23, 2011). "Honors for a nun who lauded heroes". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-10-26. "Sister Maria Veronica Keane of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM). As a volunteer archivist at the Freedoms Foundation ..., 'Sister Veronica,' spent 17 years researching the lives of every person who had received the nation's highest military honor. .... She had turned down burial at Arlington National Cemetery ...."
- Woodall, Martha (October 23, 2011). "Honors for a nun who lauded heroes". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-10-26. "A few hours after the graveside ceremony, 140 people attended a $500-a-plate dinner at the Freedoms Foundation to raise money for the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove for grove maintenance and improvements".
- Armbrester, Margaret E. (1992). The Civitan Story. Birmingham, AL: Ebsco Media. p. 96.