Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission
In addition to hundreds of programs that were being conducted by museums and local partners across the state, the Virginia World War I and World War II Commission planned a number of events and programs to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II. The Commission, created by the General Assembly, was guided by its purpose to:
HONOR OUR VETERANS - whose sacrifices can never be forgotten. When we remember yesterday's veterans we communicate to today's service members that they won't be forgotten.
INSPIRE A DESIRE TO LEARN MORE - by providing opportunities for people to explore personal connections and highlight multiple aspects of Virginia's role in World War I and World War II
CONNECT THROUGH TRAVEL AND TOURISM - by making it easy for visitors to connect to museums, memorials, and sites in Virginia related to World War I and World War II.
Continuous programs that were hosted by the Commisson durring it 5-year commemorations included the Profiles of Honor Scanning Project and Mobile Tour, along with the creation of a "Virtual museum" in partnership with VCU's Virtual Curation Laboratory. Statewide Virginia Techer Institutes and WWI and WWII Marketing Grants in-partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
In partnership with the Library of Virginia, the Profiles of Honor Document Scanning Project identifies and locates original source materials in Virginia that are related to WWI and WWII. Materials scanned include service photographs, letters, memoirs, discharge papers, diaries, and other selected memorabilia and manuscripts. These visitor-donated scans help to paint a detailed picture of how everyday Virginians, both soldiers and civilians, were transformed by the two largest wars the world has ever seen. Visitors can view highlights from this incredible collection here.
In partnership with the Virtual Curation Laboratory of Virginia Commonwealth University, the Commission presents a new branch of the Profiles of Honor program: 3-D digital museum scanning. The Virtual Curation Laboratory is scanning personal artifacts and family heirlooms from WWI and WWII for display in its online virtual museum. This cutting-edge technology enables museums and individuals alike to showcase some of their most meaningful pieces to millions of visitors online, while the originals remain in the possession of the donor. 3-D printed models of these scans can be used educationally in classrooms across the world.
WWI & WWII Tourism Marketing Grants
In partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Commission supported museums, historic sites, and organizations that were commemorating the WWI and WWII by offering matching grants of up to $10,000 for the marketing of these initiatives. Grant applications were accepted on a periodic basis. The final round of $10,000 matching grants closed on February 19, 2019.
Learn more about the WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Tour, a mobile exhibition that brought an interactive traveling exhibition to museums, libraries, and historic sites throughout Virginia. Modeled on the highly successful Virginia Civil War 150 HistoryMobile tour, the Profiles of Honor exhibit brought to life the state's integral role in both wars, highlighting the stories of Virginians who served in both conflicts. The mobile tour traveled to over 117 stops across the state and beyond in three years. Click here for more info, and to take our Mobile Unit's Virtual Tour online!
The Virginia World War I and World War II Commission worked with the Virginia Department of Education, museums, colleges, and historians across the state to plan a annual World War I and World War II statewide teacher symposium in the summers of 2017 thru 2019. These educational retreats for teachers explored the history of both wars and the ever-expanding resources available to teachers in the classroom. The symposium went on the road to each of the eight school regions in the state, and hosted over 300 of Virginia's finest history teachers. Since wrapping up, those fantastic resources shared on-site are now available online!