COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After more than three years of planning and construction, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum opens this coming Saturday, October 27.
Dorrian Green, across from the museum, is already set up for Saturday’s ceremony, which begins at 2pm Thursday, workers were doing final preparations ahead of the grand opening.
The building has been under construction on West Broad Street for the last couple of years.
“What Senator John Glenn challenged us with is to make the building the beginning of the experience,” said Amy Taylor, chief operating officer of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, the project manager for the museum. “So we wanted people to see the architecture, see this iconic image and this iconic building and know they’ve arrived somewhere special.”
She described the museum as being dedicated to veterans and their stories, rather than being a military museum or a war memorial.
“You’re going to walk through, and you will have not heard of a lot of these folks. But by the end, you will feel as if you really know them,” Taylor said.
The museum includes two permanent exhibits and one temporary exhibit, as well as a memorial grove outside.
Taylor said the museum and memorial offer a chance for visitors to reflect on those who serve in the military as they listen to the stories of veterans.
“They tell why they serve and where they serve. They talk about coming home and leaving home. And what I think is important is people walk away understanding there are citizens in our country who sign a blank check on their life when they sign up for the military or they choose to serve,” Taylor said.
Admission to the memorial and museum is free on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28. Visitors who want to come on those dates must get timed tickets on Nationalvmm.org. That website also includes a schedule of events, speakers and maps for Saturday’s opening ceremony and events.