Modeled on the highly successful Virginia Civil War 150 HistoryMobile, the Virginia World War I and World War II Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour was an interactive museum exhibit, housed in a 36-foot trailer, that traveled across the Commonwealth and beyond to museums, schools, libraries, historical societies, and local events. In its nearly 3 years of touring, the Profiles of Honor Tour traveled to over 117 locations, and was visited by almost 40,000 visitors, from 42 states, and 18 countries. Prioritizing the need for WWI and WWII education, the Profiles of Honor Tour visited dozens of schools around the state, seeing over 13,700 students. The Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour officially ended its "Tour of Duty" on June 30, 2019.
This mobile museum was free and open to the public, and featured stories and artifacts from dozens of Virginians who served in World War I and World War II as well as a full-scale model of an M5A1 Stuart tank, and the bridge of a WWII-era battleship. With stories from doughboys in the trenches of WWI, to Marines in the South Pacific jungles of WWII, stories from overseas and right here at home in Virginia's shipyards and scrap drives, every perspective and branch of service's stories were told. The tour, which helped bring to life Virginia’s integral role in world history, served as a key part of the statewide commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II.
“The Profiles of Honor Tour honors the Virginians who fought for our freedom and helps to ensure that their legacy remains for new generations as World War I and World War II slip further away from public memory,” said Virginia House of Delegates Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, who serves as the Chairman of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission. “Both wars were fought not only overseas, but from the shipyards, factories, military bases, and homes of Virginians. The Profiles of Honor Tour revitalizes that history, from the home front to the frontlines.”
In addition to the mobile exhibit, the Profiles of Honor Tour brought document scanning equipment, in-partnership with the Library of Virginia, to each site it visited. Visitors were invited to bring World War I and World War II-related images, letters, and documents to be scanned, preserved, and made publicly accessible in the Library of Virginia’s archives. By the end of the mobile museum's run, the project had already collected nearly 6,000 stories. The Virginia WWI and WWII Commission's Scanning Project is still active, and traveling around the state- learn more about this fantastic program HERE.
The Profiles of Honor Tour was an initiative of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission, which is a commission of the Virginia General Assembly. The tour was managed in-partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, with over 18 of Virginia’s noted museums and historical societies contributing to the exhibit.
Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour Slideshow
View some of our photo highlights from the Profiles of Honor Tour's travels around the Commonwealth and beyond:
From 2016-2019, The Virginia WWI and WWII Commission's mobile programming traveled across over 2/3 of Virginia's localities, educating visitors about WWI and WWII history!