It highlights the voices of U.S. military veterans by focusing on personal stories instead of political perspectives.
There are approximately 21 million veterans in the United States today. While debates about national anthem participation and foreign intervention tactics often emerge in mainstream news cycles, the general public doesn’t frequently hear from actual U.S. veterans themselves.
Just two weeks before Veterans Day (and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I), a new museum in Columbus, Ohio, positioned itself at the center of this conversation. On October 27, 2018, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) became the country’s first-ever institution dedicated entirely to honoring U.S. military veterans.
Situated on the banks of the Scioto River, the 53,000-square-foot museum features a sleek, circular design that culminates in a rooftop sanctuary and amphitheater. As visitors ascend the spiraling structure, they pass portraits, video narratives, written letters, and personal artifacts collected from veterans across every branch of the U.S. military and from every state.
Born from a passion project imagined by late U.S. Senator and World War II veteran John Glenn, NVMM aims to distinguish itself by focusing strictly on the personal and collective stories of U.S. military members who served in conflicts (as opposed to the history of the conflicts themselves).
For visitors on any end of the political spectrum, Ohio’s new museum offers an opportunity to better comprehend the experiences of a population whose individual perspectives are often overlooked.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. U.S. military veterans and Gold Star families (those whose loved ones have died while serving) can visit the museum for free.
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