Global War on Terrorism

Learn more about America’s modern conflicts, from the Persian Gulf War through today. How has the world changed since the attacks on 9/11/2001, and what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan? Use the films and resources below to learn more about the Global War on Terrorism, from the perspectives of Virginians who participated.

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Virginians at War Films
Recorded Lectures and Lessons
Resources and Activities

Documentary Films

A New Century, A New War

A New Century, A New War presents the memories and emotions surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Global War on Terror as experienced by Virginian veterans and family members.

New Century, New War Resource Packet

New Century, New War Transcript

Virginians at War: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2004

Hear firsthand accounts of Virginians discussing the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the start of the War on Terror. This film covers the invasion of Iraq and the shifting perception of the war over time, as well as the day-to-day experience of American soldiers in the Middle East.


Recorded Lectures and Lessons

If you are interested in scheduling a future lesson with the Virginia War Memorial Education Department (in person or via distance learning/outreach), please reach out to

Salute to Service

Have you ever wondered what it is like to serve in the military? Hear first-hand accounts from those who took the oath of enlistment!

Salute to Service: US Air Force

Aired September 18, 2020. Join an Air Force veteran as he discusses his service during the Global War on Terrorism.

Salute to Service: Navy SEALs

Aired January 13, 2021. Hear firsthand accounts from a Navy SEAL during this unique interview.

Eyewitness to history

Learn about history from those who have experienced it, and get a chance to view events through a unique lens!

Eyewitness to History: GWOT Veterans Panel

Aired May 27, 2020. Hear from a panel of veterans of the Global War on Terrorism as they discuss their experiences in the Middle East and the state of the military today.

Eyewitness to History: Persian Gulf Veteran Mark Owens

Aired August 26, 2020. Hear from Mark Owens, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.

Eyewitness to History: Experiencing the Unthinkable on 9/11

Aired September 10, 2020. Join Mary Ann Wilson, on special assignment as HUD’s Regional Director of New York and New Jersey in 2001, as she describes the horrific events that occurred outsider her 35th floor office window of the Federal Building in Lower Manhattan on September 11.


Programs from authors, historians, and other special guest speakers in addition to VA War Memorial staff. 

The Freedom Flag Story with John Riley and Tara Krohn 

Aired June 15, 2020. This program, presented by John Riley and Tara Krohn of the Freedom Flag Foundation, addresses the question: How was Virginia’s Freedom Flag born? Learn how the Freedom Flag went form a sketch on a napkin in response to America’s promise to “Never Forget 9/11,” to becoming Virginia’s Official Flag of Remembrance for September 11, 2001.

A Firefight in Afghanistan: What Happened on Mountain 2610

Aired June 30, 2020. Join Dr. Clay Mountcastle as he shares the story of a battle that took place in June 2006, with soldiers from the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division high in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan. At the end of the desperate fight, four Americans were dead, including a Medal of Honor recipient and a local hero from Mechanicsville. Mountcastle, who authored a study of the battle, will explain what happened, why, and how this one battle illustrates why fighting a war in Afghanistan is so damned hard.

Headhunter: 5-73 CAV and Their Fight for Iraq’s Diyala River Valley with Pete Svoboda

Aired December 15, 2020. Hear author Pete Svoboda talk about his new book, “Headhunter,” a unique account of the Global War on Terrorism.

Remembering the Persian Gulf

Aired February 26, 2021. Near the 30th anniversary of the end of the Persian Gulf War, Education Director Jim Triesler highlighted each of the Virginians killed in action during the conflict whose names are carved onto the Shrine of Memory.

Resources and Activities

The Freedom Flag

Learn more about the Freedom Flag, an Official Flag of Remembrance for September 11, 2001 on the Freedom Flag Foundation’s website: