The world recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. While there aren’t any living veterans left form the great war, there are about 21 million veterans in the United States who fought in subsequent wars. For the first time, a museum has opened dedicated to those veterans and the sacrifices they made for their country.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum opened on October 27 in Columbus, Ohio. It’s first of its kind. The building that houses the museum is just over 53,000 square feet of displays laid out in a circular pattern. The museum also has an amphitheater and a rooftop area that overlooks the nearby Scioto River.
The museum boats impressive displays, full of letters written to and from vets, portraits of the heroes and a huge collection of personal items belonging to veterans from all the branches of the military, hailing from every state in the country.
The purpose of the museum is to show visitors what it’s like to start out life as a civilian and then become a member of the armed forces. Then they’ll see what it’s like to serve in the military and finally, they’ll see what it’s like to transition back into civilian life. The tour is a kind of narrative journey, the point of which is to show what it’s truly life for veterans in various stages of their lives, regardless if they’re serving in a war or during peacetime.
The museum itself is run by a non-profit organization, the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation. Many other museums are spread throughout the country and they focus mainly on the specific wars that the U.S. has been involved with. The purpose of the NVMM is to highlight the individual soldiers themselves. It was the goal and brainchild of one of the most remarkable veterans of all time, Astronaut and World War II vet John Glenn.
Veterans struggle every day with both physical and mental injuries, and it’s hard for folks who have never experienced serving to understand. This museum gives people a chance to understand those perspectives.