Virginia War Memorial expanding to honor 21st century heroes

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After 61 years of honoring Virginia’s fallen heroes, the Virginia War Memorial is growing.

“When they come and look at what we are — which is really a combination of museum, education center, and memorial — they really see there’s something new to learn here,” said Clay Mountcastle, Director of the Virginia War Memorial.

The project is officially underway at the memorial overlooking some of Richmond’s most well-known spots.

“Our hope is that when people come down to the river, Brown’s Island, Tredegar, they’ll see the construction going on and then want to see the end product going on when it’s all said and done,” Mountcastle said.

The finished product will be a duplicate shrine of memory like the existing shrine that honors nearly 12,000 Virginians who died in wars of the 20th century.

The new section, however, will honor Virginians who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the 21st century and beyond.

“With this new expansion project, we’re only going to get better at honoring Virginia’s fallen,” Mountcastle said.

Along with a second shrine, the War Memorial is adding new educational program facilities, a lecture hall, and a distance education center.

The ultimate goal is to broaden the reach and impact of their message.

“This project will not only allow us to honor those veterans from the Global War on Terror appropriately but also it’ll allow us to reach far out across the state and deliver our educational programming even to classrooms in the far corners of Virginia,” said Mountcastle.

The expansion project is expected to take nearly two years and the memorial is fully open and operational during the entire process.

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