Ten hut! National Museum of the United States Army to open on Veterans Day

The Army announced that it plans to open the National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir on Veterans Day, November 11. Building construction and exhibit installations are complete, and the museum is ready to open its doors to the public. The occasion will be an important milestone for the Army, for southeastern Fairfax County, and for the hospitality industry that has seen far fewer visitors at most tourist sites, hotels and restaurants because of the coronavirus emergency.

“It is so appropriate that the only national museum focusing on the Army will open on Veterans Day, and this also could not come at a better time for the hospitality industry that has taken such a big hit during the pandemic,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “This is a world-class addition to that segment of our economy, and I am proud that Fairfax County will host this tribute to those who have risked so much for our great country.”

The museum joins an area of southeastern Fairfax County that is already rich with visitor experiences, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon; the Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House historic site, which is only Frank Lloyd Wright home in Virginia open to the public; George Mason’s Gunston Hall; the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, with its extraordinary ties to the women’s suffrage movement; and the parks and national wildlife refuge on Mason Neck.

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Daniel G. Storck noted how the Army Museum will add to this diverse set of attractions.

“Our District is home to many, many cultural, historical, arts, ecological and natural sites,” Storck said. “The opening of the new museum will add a huge boost to existing tourism synergy in the area that will accelerate South County economic development and provide new opportunities for residents and visitors alike.”

(photo courtesy of the Army Historical Foundation)

The Army Museum, located on a publicly accessible area of Fort Belvoir, will be the first and only museum to tell the entire history of the Army since its establishment in 1775.

The museum’s Experiential Learning Center will provide visitors of all ages a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on, educational and team-building activities in the areas of geography, science, technology, engineering and math.

“The museum is stunning, and it is an honor to present this history in a way that shows the connection between the American soldier, the U.S. Army and the nation,” said the museum’s director, Tammy E. Call.

The venue will open with enhanced health and safety measures for visitors. Free, timed-entry tickets will be required to manage visitor capacity and provide an optimal experience to visitors.

“We have worked hard to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors, and we are excited to open the doors of this long-awaited national museum,” Call added.

An M4 Sherman tank, the iconic American tank of World War II, at the National Museum of the United States Army. (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the United States Army, Duane Lempke)

The museum is a joint effort between the Army and the Army Historical Foundation, a non-profit organization. The AHF constructed the building through private funds, and the U.S. Army provided the infrastructure, roads, utilities and exhibit work that transformed the building into a museum. The Army owns and operates the museum, and the AHF manages retail, catering and special events.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors, residents, and any and all military personnel and veterans to see this long-awaited museum, which is an important reminder of the sacrifices and service our armed forces have shown us over the last 245 years,” said Barry Biggar, president and CEO of Visit Fairfax.

Aerial view of the National Museum of the United States Army. (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the United States Army)

The opening will be preceded by a small ceremony that will be livestreamed to encourage people around the world to participate in this historic moment. Click here for more information.

October 15, 2020