Special Spaces at the Memorial

Visiting the Virginia War Memorial can be a powerful and emotional experience. Whether you are spending solitary moments in the Shrine of Memory, touring the museum exhibits, or watching one of our documentary films in Reynolds Theater, the War Memorial spaces all work in concert to honor and celebrate all who have served.

Some of these spaces at the Memorial have been named for important Virginia Veterans or other significant historic moments.

Highlights of the Memorial Site

Learn about some of our named spaces as we continue to honor veterans and evolve to share their stories.

The E. Bruce Heilman Amphitheater is named in memory of WWII veteran Dr. E. Bruce Heilman (July 16, 1926 – October 19, 2019).

In 2010, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects designed the E. Bruce Heilman Amphitheater to complement the Shrine of Memory and the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center.

The 250-person amphitheater is comprised of five descending semi-circles with stone seats, stone pathways, and native grass plantings. The Lower Terrace of the C. Kenneth Wright Pavilion, completed in 2019, opens onto the amphitheater to expand access for ceremonies and events. The amphitheater allows for large public events, including the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day Ceremonies, concerts, and more.


The Paul & Phyllis Galanti Education Center is named for CDR Paul Edward Galanti (USN, Ret.) and Phyllis Eason Galanti (died April 23, 2014).

In 2007, the Virginia War Memorial undertook its first major expansion project with the construction of the 18,000 square-foot Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center. The Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation began a public/private capital campaign to raise $2.2 million of seed money, which spurred action and garnered enthusiasm for the project by the Virginia General Assembly. The expansion was dedicated on February 29, 2010.


Russell Scott Hall is named in memory of beloved Virginia War Memorial volunteer and WWII veteran Russell Lee Scott (April 26, 1920 – November 19, 2019).

“Russell Scott was truly the heart and soul of the Virginia War Memorial. For years, he captivated visitors to the War Memorial, both young and old, with his stories and his charm,” said Dr. Clay Mountcastle, Virginia War Memorial Director. “In a place filled with stories of heroism and sacrifice, none have more of an impact or were more popular than Russell Scott’s. He was a hero, a treasure, and a true friend. He leaves a legacy that will endure for decades. We will truly miss him, but we will never miss a chance to continue telling his amazing story.”


The USS Birmingham Research Library is named for the USS Birmingham, a United States Cleveland-class light cruiser named for the city of Birmingham, Alabama.

As the fundraising for the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center was happening, Rear Admiral John Marocchi, a longtime Virginia War Memorial Board Member, reached out to his fellow members of the USS Birmingham CL-62 Association.

Admiral Marocchi proposed that the Association raise money to name the planned research library after the USS Birmingham.