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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

 

VA Unveils Plans for National Museum Honoring Veterans

November 8, 2001, 08:00:00 AM

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WASHINGTON – Plans for a museum dedicated to America's veterans and their accomplishments were unveiled today at a reception in the nation's capital hosted by the museum's chief proponent, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

" Our nation's veterans have made tremendous contributions to our country and its history," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi.  "This new museum will tell that story to generations of Americans, both born and not yet born."

The National Veterans Museum, to be located in the District of Columbia at VA's headquarters building at 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, will tell a story of homecoming: the universal experience shared by every soldier returning from very war, and the challenges they face as they return to family, friends, and community.

Exhibits will discuss the impact on American society of such seminal events as the Bonus Army of 1932 and the G.I. Bill of 1944.  Other exhibits will explain the role of the Department of Veterans Affairs and its missions, and the many innovations for which VA employees are responsible.

In remarks at the reception, attended by members of Congress and leaders of America's veterans service organizations, Principi expressed his hope that the new museum will be "world-class" in scope and design.  He vowed to create an institution where veterans and their families can feel at home while in the Nation's capital, and where they can reconnect with old friends and comrades.

Principi also plans to link the museum with the Capital's great veterans memorials, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; the Korean Veterans Memorial; the Women in Military Service to America Memorial; and the World War II Memorial, which is currently under construction.  

He proposes interactive learning areas for visitors, and places set aside for lecture and discussion.  His "highest priority," however, is to create a site for students of all ages to visit, along with their parents and teachers.

VA noted that a timetable has not yet been prepared for construction of the museum, but that a contractor, Lord Cultural Resources Planning and Management, Inc., has been retained to assist in museum planning.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has responsibility for providing federal benefits to America's 25.5 million living veterans and their dependents.  VA is the second largest of the 14 cabinet departments, and operates nationwide programs of health care, financial assistance, and national cemeteries.

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