Quoit Club: VA War Memorial
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Members Only Tour | Click Here to buy a membership
During World War II, nearly 10,000 Virginians made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Five years later in 1950, the Virginia General Assembly authorized the construction of a memorial to honor and remember them. By the time the Memorial was dedicated on February 29, 1956, remembering those Virginians killed during the Korean War had been added to the Memorial’s design.
To design the Shrine of Memory, Architects Samuel J. Collins of Staunton and his nephew, Richard E. Collins, combined mid-century modernity with the timeless style of a Greek temple. The open pavilion fully embraces its dramatic site on more than four acres overlooking the James River and downtown Richmond – a view that’s seen through huge sheets of glass engraved with the names of the fallen.
With their names forever set against the backdrop of their capital city, they’re watched over by sculptor Leo F. Friedlander’s “Memory,” a 22-foot-tall statue of a woman in grief. An eternal flame flickers at her feet. Over the years, in addition to commemorating WWII, the Shrine of Memory has expanded to include the names of Virginians killed in action during the Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars, and America’s 21st century conflicts.
Today, nearly 12,000 fallen heroes are honored in the Shrine, ensuring Virginia will never forget their service and sacrifice.