To fulfill that mission, the War Memorial preserves, interprets, and shares the firsthand experiences of those who served and of their families on the homefront. Their stories are civic lessons that are especially critical now, when less than one percent of the population currently serves on active duty. In our American democracy, the military takes its orders from civilians. For such a compact to succeed, all citizens need an understanding of what it means to serve and to sacrifice. And all veterans deserve to come home to communities that know how to support them.
For every war since World War II, the Virginia War Memorial has helped veterans find their voices and tell their stories. The Memorial also enables communities to stand by veterans and equips citizens with critical thinking skills around issues of human conflict. From state-of-the-art facilities on the banks of the James River in Richmond, the Memorial provides:
- Hands-on programs for children (school and homeschool)
- Educational resources and professional development for teachers
- Lectures and seminars for adults
- Collections and archives for researchers
- Arts programs for veterans
- Patriotic ceremonies for the community
- Historical exhibits, arts events, documentary films, and oral histories
In a unique public-private partnership, these services are provided by state staffers with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, with support from the Virginia War Memorial Foundation, its Board of Directors, and staff.