Three years of construction, roughly $175 million in funding, and 185,000 square feet of history in the making, the National Museum of the U.S. Army is ready to shock and awe its audience.
Prepare for the greatest experience of your life as the greatest Army on the planet has announced the date when the National Museum of the U.S. Army opens its doors to the public—June 4, 2020.
The significance of June 4 is that this day is the anniversary of the beginning of the naval Battle of Midway in 1942. This battle has always been considered to be the turning point of the war in the Pacific during World War II.
“The opening of the museum would set the stage for the celebration of the 245th birthday of the Army on June 14, marking the day in 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of expert marksmen for one year of service to the United Colonies,” said Army spokeswoman Susan Smullen.
Located over 84 acres in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the museum will commemorate over 240 years of Army history. It plans to pay homage to the people who make America the land of the brave. Exhibits will honor and tell behind the scenes and frontlines stories of the Army, Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard. This grand operation is a joint effort between the U. S. Army and the nonprofit organization, The Army Historical Foundation (AHF).
The museum is divided into three main exhibits: “Soldier Stories,” “Fighting for the Nation,” and “Army and Society.”
My favorite is “Soldier Stories,” which promises to be a very personal and in-depth peek into the lives of 41 soldiers from different historical periods and backgrounds. Who these 41 soldiers are is just as intriguing as what their stories will be. According to the website, “The service of each of these soldiers reflects one or more of the seven Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.”
“Fighting for the Nation” is sectioned into six galleries. These galleries will cover significant times in the Army’s history, spanning from the Revolutionary War to the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As the name suggests, “Army and Society” will explore the Army’s contributions to the civil society in general. These include the Army’s contribution to the fields of medicine, aviation, communications, and technology. This will also showcase the Army’s role in national issues such as immigration, integration, and education.
A theater, an interactive “experiential learning center,” an art gallery and space for special, rotating exhibits are also a featured part of the museum. The museum site will also include a parade ground, grandstand, a memorial garden, and an Army Trail.
The Army and the Army Historical Foundation, have funded the construction by raising over $175 million from more than 178,000 donors toward a $200 million campaign.
“We are asking the American people to get involved and contribute to this campaign before the museum doors open next year,” Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, president of the Army Historical Foundation, said in the press release. “There is simply no better way to ensure our nation always remembers and honors the contributions of the American soldier than by supporting this historic project.”
The National Museum of the U.S. Army is the first in the country to narrate the 244-year-old stories of the Army that many consider legends. The 30 million soldiers who have served since 1775 now have a home where guests are not just welcome, they are encouraged to visit.
The opening date was postponed several times, but the Army said in a news release Wednesday that on June 4, 2020, this is happening and there is no stopping now.
"Due to the expected demand, visitors are being reminded to wait until they have received confirmation of their tickets before making travel plans," the Army release states.
The museum has started accepting applications for volunteers and booking event spaces for August 2020 and beyond.
Admission to the museum is free, but tickets for a specific date and time will be required. You can find more about this on armyhistory.org/opening-day.