Virginia War Memorial Foundation
Chartered in 2000, the Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF) is the 501 (c) (3) corporation that finances all of the educational and patriotic programs, historic exhibits, documentary films, and student-teacher outreach of the statewide Virginia War Memorial, often heralded as the premier state memorial honoring military veterans in the United States, located in Richmond, Virginia. Our mission is to honor veterans, preserve history, educate youth, and inspire patriotism in all.
In 1950, five years after the end of World War II, the Virginia General Assembly authorized the building of a memorial to honor and remember the nearly 10,000 Virginians who made the ultimate sacrifice serving in the U.S Armed Forces. The original Memorial consisted of an auditorium, a small visitor’s center and the Shrine of Memory where the names of Virginia’s heroes are engraved on its stone and glass walls.
In 1981, the Shrine of Memory was expanded to include the names of those Virginians killed in action during the Vietnam War. In 1996, the names of those who died in Desert Storm/Desert Shield were added. Today, there are nearly 12,000 heroes honored in the Shrine.
An additional Shrine called the Wall of Honor has been created that honors the more than 250 Virginians killed in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism since 2000.
The addition of the 18,000 square foot Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center, which opened in September 2010, dramatically changed the size and scope of the Virginia War Memorial. It also allowed the Memorial to redirect its focus to honoring all veterans through programs, events and exhibits designed to pass on their stories of service and sacrifice.
Annual visitation to the Memorial has increase over 500% since the opening of the Galanti Education Center – from 21,000 in 2008 to over 73,000 in 2015.There is no admission charge to tour the Virginia War Memorial and the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center or to attend virtually all programs and exhibits held here. Donations to the Foundation provide the funds necessary to allow us to remain free of charge and present over 50 programs and events each year.