RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After several years of work, the Virginia War Memorial is set to debut a $25 million expansion that honors Virginians killed in the global War on Terror.
The Grand Opening Ceremony and Dedication of the Virginia War memorial and C. Kenneth Wright Pavilion will be Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Heilman Amphitheater and expanded Shrine of Memory- Global War on Terrorism and Beyond.
8News received an advance tour of the 28-thousand square foot expansion Wednesday morning. The Shrine of Memory- Global War on Terrorism and Beyond honors a new set of service members. Work on the project began in 2017.
“For 20-some years, we haven’t had the ability to honor those Virginians that have participated in the global War on Terror until now,” said Virginia War Memorial Director Clay Mountcastle. “So we needed to expand the Shrine of Memory so we could honor them in an appropriate manner.”
The Virginia War Memorial was originally dedicated on February 29, 1956 to honor Virginians killed in World War II and the Korean War. This weekend’s ceremony will also celebrate the 64th anniversary of that day.
In 1981, the Shrine of Memory was expanded to include the names of Virginians killed in action during the Vietnam War, and in 1996 the names of those killed in the Persian Gulf War were added as well.
The public is encouraged to attend Saturday’s grand reopening event. Sen. Tim Kaine and General John Jumper, USAF (Ret.), will be the featured guest speakers. Admission is free. There will be an open house at noon following the ceremony.
There is limited free parking on Saturday. A new underground parking deck at the Memorial is now open as well as the new surface lot. Additional parking for Saturday’s ceremony will be available at the VDHA surface lot next door.