In 2018, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum opened in Columbus, making history in a number of ways. Not only does this museum honor the men and women who have served in *all* branches of the U.S. military, but it also tells their stories. Never before has war and military service been so personal, making the National Veterans Memorial and Museum a must-visit for each and every American.
Upon arriving at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, you’ll first notice the building’s shape and architecture. It’s sleek and modern, with the intersecting stone lines of the building’s facade forming a shape similar to a “support our troops” ribbon. The building is visually stunning from the outside, setting the tone for the completely awe-inspiring experience you’ll have inside.
Inside this building’s modern walls is a space where soldiers are respectfully honored. As you wander through the museum, you’ll see personal accounts of soldiers’ experiences played out on screen. You’ll hear first-person narratives and come face-to-face with real artifacts from the battlefields. Everything is laid out in a roughly chronological timeline, which provides a very easy-to-follow history lesson for kids.
To make the museum more engaging, you can pick up a scavenger hunt from the front desk. This provided a very accessible and hands-on way for my almost-nine-year-old to slow down and more intentionally experience the museum.
The most incredible thing about this museum, hands down, is the “Celebrate a Veteran” kiosk. This space connects you with a database of all U.S. veterans, living and deceased, from each and every branch of the military. With just a few details, you can search for your loved ones, and their name will appear digitally on a large purple star. I found this experience incredibly moving and had a very meaningful moment with my son as I told him about his Great Grandpa Wasserman, who proudly served in WWII. My grandfather passed away almost 15 years ago, and seeing his name displayed on screen, as I stood with my son, was a very powerful moment I will never forget.
Never forgetting — that’s the mission of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. This one-of-a-kind museum is a place for inspiration and reflection, to feel a sense of patriotism and pride for the incredibly brave men and women who have selflessly served our wonderful country.