Mission of the Museum
Our mission is to honor, and perpetuate the memory of the service men and women who have served in our nation's armed forces down through the history of our country during peacetime or war.
The mission of the museum began over a decade ago with the goal of making sure that our veterans "Shall Not Be Forgotten".
The museum began with humble beginnings in 1997 at a storefront and in 2005 we opened our new facility visible from Interstate 5 just off of exit 77.
The museum features a 9,000 square feet main gallery with 85 display cases and hundreds of displays honoring our veterans. The museum features a military history reference library with thousands of volumes. There is also a gift shop and a "USO" where you can come and enjoy a cup of coffee and some conversations with our local veterans. For special occasions the museum also has a modern 3,000 square foot Events Center.
Information on operating hours, admission fees and other features of the museum.
- Upcoming Events For 2014 -
Veterans Tree of Life
In April we will be hosting another Veterans Tree of Life in conjunction with Visiting Nurses Foundation. The exact date has not been set. This will be another time to recognize your loved veteran who has passed away. With your donation we will make a dog tag with their information on it and hang it on our Tree of Life that is on display in the main gallery. We will also hold a special service where you can light a candle in their memory. The veteran you honor can be anyone who you know or are related to you. The veteran does not need to be of a recent era. Last year we had family members honor Revolutionary War and Civil War ancestors. This is a great way to remember our loved ones who have passed on. Please contact the Museum at email@example.com or call us at 360-740-8875 for more details.
Calling all D-Day Veterans!!
Seventy years ago on June 6th 1944 waves of Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy to smash the grip of the Nazis from western Europe. Thousands gave their lives on that fateful day, thousands more fought valiantly for nearly a year to push the Germans back all the way to Berlin.
Years ago Cliff Parshall, a US Navy veteran who piloted the landing craft on D-Day, attended a reunion at Normandy, France. While he was there he purchased a commemorative bottle of wine. He brought back the bottle of wine and gave it to Lee Grimes the founder and former director of the Museum with the wish that it should be opened for the surviving veterans of D-Day. As this is the 70th anniversary of the historical event we would like to honor Cliff Parshall’s wish and invite any living veterans who were there on June 6th, 1944. We invite anyone who landed on the beaches, served on one of the ships, flew over the battlefield, or parachuted behind the enemy lines on D-Day.
At 2:00pm on June 6th, 2014 we will hold a special event at the Museum. Please call Chip Duncan at the Museum 360-740-8875 for more details.
World War One Centennial
Tentatively on June 21st we will be holding a Centennial commemoration for World War One. June of 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the first global conflict the world had ever seen. In the span of 1914-1918 millions of soldiers gave their lives.
Though America did not enter the war until 1917, many of us are not aware of the events that led up to the beginning of the Great War. This year in partnership with the Evergreen Theater we will be producing a series of vignettes that will show all of the events that caused World War One. Among many other things we will show the assassination of Princess Sissi, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Balkan Conflict, the Austrian Court, events in England, Germany, France and Russia. You will not want to miss this great opportunity! Keep updated by checking our website or call the Museum for more details.
Desert War Day
On June 28th we will again be hosting our annual Desert War Day. These events have been great in recognizing so many of our veterans who have served in the post-Vietnam era. So many events happened since 1975 that many of the men and women who served in those operations feel as if they have been forgotten. We do not want the service and sacrifices of these veterans to be forgotten.
We are currently looking for a guest speaker for this event. If you or someone you know served in the post 1975 military and would like to come and share their experiences, please call the Museum Director at 360-740-8875.
Civil War Siege of Petersburg
On the July weekend of the 12th – 13th we will continue our recognition of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. We will be having another large battle and encampment not far from the Museum. These are really exciting events as we watch the battle unfold, learn about life in the 1860’s from the living historians and learn about the featured battle. This years battle will focus on the Siege of Petersburg. This battle began in June of 1864 and featured a unique event where the Union forces dug a mine underneath the Confederate trenches to break the siege. The mine was filled with explosives and detonated on July 30th. A military debacle ensued when the Union troops ran headlong into the massive crater rather than going around it. For hours Confederate troops launched a counterattack that resulted in a “turkey shoot” as the Union troops could not climb out of the crater.
For this years event we are working with the engineers to re-create the crater event. It will be a big BOOM! You won’t want to miss this Civil War Battle!
Vietnam Traveling Wall
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War, the Veterans Memorial Museum will host “The American Veterans Traveling Tribute”, commonly referred to as the Vietnam Traveling Wall, from July 31st to August 3rd, 2014. The Traveling Wall that will visit is the largest of the 5 around the country, 360’ long and 80% of the size of the real Wall.
Six special programs will be held while The Wall is at the Veterans Memorial Museum.
Thursday – Laying of the Wreaths: 6:00 PM
Friday: Opening Ceremonies, 6:00 PM, Travis Wofford speaker
Saturday: Vietnam Remembrance Day, 11:00 AM, John Plaster speaker
Saturday: POW/MIA Remembrance Day, 4:00 PM
Sunday: Early Morning Community Church Service, 8:00 AM, Chaplain Stan Baker, speaker
Sunday: Closing Ceremonies, 2:00 PM, Ron Averill, speaker
In order to host The Wall and these events, many volunteers are needed. Committees have already been formed and we are beginning to collect names of those who are willing to help. We are not asking you to sign up for specific shifts at this time, but are asking what job you would like to do so that the appropriate committee chair can contact you when the time draws closer. Jobs to be filled include:
Security (24-hour coverage is required)
Set-up and Break-down (Thursday morning and Sunday afternoon)
Computer searching for names and locations on Wall (Thursday afternoon through Sunday)
Uniformed escorts (to take people from computers to location on Wall)
Museum maintenance (clean-up of site, inside and out, during event)
Pre-event grounds preparation (mowing, weeding, cleaning)
Giving guided tours of the Museum.
Each shift will be 4 hours long but of course volunteers are welcome to come back each day. If you are willing to help in any way, would you please give us your name, phone number, and e-mail address? You may leave it at the Museum, or call Donna Loucks at 360-736-2147 or send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When The Wall was here in 2007, an estimated 12,000 people visited. Most of those people did not come inside the Museum, but just looked at The Wall. We hope for an equal or larger crowd this time and would like to offer frequent, scheduled tours of the museum gallery. In order to do that, we need more people trained to be tour guides. This is a larger commitment that will require advance training, but tour guides are needed on a regular weekly basis and for special tours. If you enjoy talking to people and telling stories, please consider learning to give tours.
The theme of the program is “To Heal and Honor”. Many veterans returning from war bury emotions deep inside their mind and heart and do not learn how to reconcile with them until 20 to 50 years later. Unfortunately some never are able to come to grips with these emotions. One of the major goals of the Veterans Memorial Museum is to sponsor events such as this to help the HEALING process begin.
All of the museum’s programs are intended to HONOR those who serve or have served our country. The freedom our citizens and our County currently have is a direct result of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served their country in peace and war! Secondly with the Traveling Wall at the museum we will also HONOR those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
They Shall Not Be Forgotten...