The VA War memorial seems to be just a passing sideshow for those driving by, but I was awed by the beauty and serenity of the hallowed ground dedicated to the Virginia residents who lost their lives in combat. It was more beautiful than the USS Arizona memorial in Hawaii, as the casualties honored here easily outnumbered those from Dec 7, 1941. Both monuments are worth seeing, and the latter of course was built as a result of events that changed the course of history permanently. We were lucky to be the only visitors, but I don't know if that's a good thing these days. I'd rather see the place packed with interested people than void of activity. The security guard seemed rather bored, but ended his cell phone call in order to chat with us for a few minutes. His questions centered around my experiences in Iraq, and I'm sure I did nothing to help him rest assured all is okay over there.
There were almost 150 blocks on the ground, one for each battle, dedicated to the battles VA citizens were involved in. There were plenty of blank blocks, and I'm sure places like Fallujah, Baghdad, and Kabul will be featured in due time.
The Virginia War Memorial pays tribute to Virginians who gave the supreme sacrifice in wars from World War 2 forward. It was originally designed in the early 1950s to be a World War 2 Memorial. However, right as the memorial was conceived, we were in the middle of the Korean War. By 1956, the Virginians who died in that war were inscribed in the honour roll. In 1980, the Vietnam War veterans were added. In 1996, the Gulf War Veterans were added. In a few years, they will add veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, and all theaters of the current war on terror. The building is open-ended with stone on one side and glass on the side facing downtown. Names of fallen soldiers are inscribed in both. There is a statue titled "Memory" with an eternal flame. Outside, the American flag, the Virginia flag, the flag honouring POW-MIAs, and others fly. That ornate white building off in the distance isn't the State Capitol, but the headquarters of the Ethyl Corporation.
The Virginia War Memorial is a must do if you find yourself in Virginia for a weekend. I really enjoyed my trip there with B1Bob. The memorial pays tribute to those by county who lost their lives in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. The names are displayed in clear glass with the view of the city traspiring through the glass. It is just a beautiful view of the city and a unique one because it is by these men's sacrifice that, Richmond and other cities within the United States are still here. For me it was an emotional experience becuase it reminded me of both of my grandfathers who served the U.S. The statues there are well done, and I love the architecture of the memorial. There is a small running fountain in the memorial and there is a place to put flowers for those of your loved ones. Overall I really enjoyed the experience and I walked away with a greater appreciation for those sacrifices which make us free today.
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