Saturday, September 4, 2010


The memorial dedicated to Virginians lost in Vietnam seems to have caused much controversy during its inception. Vietnam vets envisioned the new memorial in Newport News, largely due to the fact that the "Victory Arch" is located in the city center. However, some WWII vets opposed this as they feared the site would become a "memorial park"

After many meetings and continued controversy it was decided that the memorial would be built at the Virginia War Museum, where it was believed it would receive more exposure and be visited by more people. The museum welcomed the new memorial with open arms and fund raising was continued by the memorial foundation, Vietnam vet organizations and a local POW/MIA group.

Groundbreaking for the site was on August 4, 1990 and the dedication, one year later, on August 3, 1991. The surrounding plaza was dedicated the following year on August 1, 1992.

The memorial itself is a five sided granite pylon with one of the five service emblems engraved on each side. All sides bear the POW/MIA insignia and the words, "We honor those who gave their best"

A few yards away is an eternal flame which bears the dedication plaque and the plaza area has markers from a number of local organizations and individuals.

There is also a time capsule which is to be opened in 2041.

Another unique feature is that there are no names upon this memorial. The names of the 1304 Virginians who perished are instead listed at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, among the 11,600 honored there. I went to the site in Richmond but there is major work being done on it and it was closed to the public.

The Virginia Vietnam Memorial is located in Huntington Park, adjacent to the Virginia War Museum. The museum is located at 9285 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Va 23607

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