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Virginia War Memorial Set to Celebrate 64th Anniversary and Open a New Memorial

Man before monument
Stephen Ross Views His Son’s Name at the Virginia War Memorial. (Photo: Charles Fishburne/VPM)

The Virginia War Memorial is set to celebrate its 64th anniversary and open a new memorial shrine this weekend to add the names of those who died in the global war on terrorism.

With construction crews still at work, Stephen Ross, the father of a Green Beret who died in Afghanistan, came to see his son’s name on the new Shrine of Memory for the first time this past weekend.

“Well, it’s hard.  It’s emotional,” Ross said. “It’s a very powerful thing.  You don’t think a simple name, etched into glass can have an impact on you and I’ve known this was going to be here for a while, but, definitely  brings tears to your eyes and makes you proud of your son.”

His son, Captain Andrew Patrick Ross, was killed during his second overseas tour in Nov. 2018, when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. His name was one of 175 added to the new shrine.

The Virginia War Memorial was originally built to honor the fallen heroes of World War II and Korea. An addition was added in 1981 honoring those killed in Vietnam; Gulf War Veterans were added in 1996.  The new $25 million expansion will add those who died in the global war on terror. 

Visitors to the Virginia War Memorial have grown to more than 70,000 per year.  The new C. Kenneth Wright Pavilion, parking, and the new shrine will double its footprint, and provide room for 175 additional names. Ross said, “It will be here forever and that means a great deal.”

The grand opening and dedication ceremonies are set for Saturday, Feb 29.