Military museums across the United States and around the world often offer visitors glimpses of world wars, commemorating the men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum has a broader goal: to represent veterans — not just war.
War stories are present, of course, but they aren’t primary. Instead, there’s attention given to the decision to serve, training and boot camp, the sacred oath, deployment and personnel roles, separation from friends and family, survival, sacrifice and homecoming.
Columbus, Ohio’s capital and largest city, is where the National Veterans Memorial and Museum resides. The $82 million project opened in October 2018 after six years of planning and construction.
The museum received a national designation from Congress and President Donald Trump.
Museum participants, veterans whose stories are told through the various installations, and organizers believe that the narratives shared in the museum haven’t yet been told — not in this way, not this thoroughly.
Thank you for your service
The 53,000-square-foot facility sits along the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. The structure — envisioned by the late John Glenn and created by architecture and design firm Allied Works — includes an outdoor ceremonial space and rooftop sanctuary in the center of concentric concrete rings.
There’s enough open, uncrowded indoor and outdoor space for events and gatherings and for moments of quiet, individual reflection.