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What Charles H. Coolidge wants people to take away from the museum that will bear his name

Charles H. Coolidge is about to turn 96-years-old on Friday, August 4th. (Image: WTVC)

There's one thing Charles H. Coolidge wants people to take away when they visit the museum that will bear his name.

"I want them to see something that they can tell their friends about, so that they go visit the museum," Coolidge said.

The new Heritage Center in downtown will honor Coolidge's actions during World War Two, along with other Medal of Honor recipients.

Coolidge's medal of honor was delivered to him while he was still serving overseas.

"It's nice to have people come and see you instead of you having to see them," he said.

Thursday, we went to see Coolidge at his Signal Mountain home where he spends his days watching over the city he so dearly loves, and talking to almost anyone who stops by.

"I tell stories all the time,"" he said. "I like to tell stories."

Coolidge is about to turn 96-years-old on Friday, and after living more than 50 years with multiple sclerosis, he can still recall leading a small group of soldiers, refusing to surrender to a much larger army of German enemies for four days.

"We threw grenades. We had a bazooka. We tried to knock the tank tread off," he said.

Eventually, Coolidge did retreat, but he was last to leave the hill, making sure his men got out safely.

"That's a whole group of men, and we [had] to keep them in tact so they can fight again," Coolidge said. "I think about it a lot, thinking 'why didn't I do so and so, why didn't i do so and so?' Well i did my best."

Later, he found out his best was far braver than anyone could have ever asked for.

His bravery is what the committee creating the exibits wants to show the people who come into the museum.

Coolidge will be one of at least 32 recipients will be honored in the museum.

The Medal of Honor Heritage Center is slated to open in 2020.

Find out how you can donate towards building the displays here.


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