Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour
Virtual Interactive Museum Walkthrough
Welcome to the Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour Virtual Interactive Walkthorugh! My name is Rusty Nix, and I had the immense pleasure and honor of not only working aboard the Profiles of Honor Tour as it traveled across the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2016 through 2019, but I also had the honor of helping to design it from the ground up. From the beginning, the Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission had two key goals to be met by this project: Honoring our veterans, and educating the next generations. The mobile museum, housed in a 36-foot trailer, would be the tool to deliver a unique hand-on approach to learning about Virginia's involvement in these two global conflicts.
When given the opportunity to design the exhibit, I was excited, and also a bit overwhelmed. After all- How do you talk about all of World War I, World War II, every theater of war, the homefront, the battles, seldom told minority and women's stories... and do it all in 28 x 7 feet?! The more I began to think about it, the more it became clear: trying to design the museum from this point of view was NOT going to work...
So in order to accomplish the mission, Lily Jones and I fell back to the foundational tenant of the Commission: Honor the Veterans. The ONLY way to do it would be to keep the focus on the stories of the men and women who served. So after putting out a call for wartime stories to our museum partners from across the state (and beyond), they began pouring in. Remarkable stories, of remarkable people, who did remarkable things- and they were all from right here in Virginia.
As you view the images below, you'll notice that there aren't any panels that talk about the "Meuse-Argonne Offensive" or the "Battle of Iwo Jima"... but the stories of America's greatest battles are there- just experienced through the eyes of the veterans who were there. You'll see the interactive interior of our full-scale M5A1 Stuart tank, the full-scale bridge controls of the USS North Carolina, and more. Examples of the gear, weapons, armor, aircraft, and ships the soldiers used, and discover where in Virginia you can go to learn more about them. 18 different museums shared their stories, artifacts, and blueprints to make this exhibit happen, and what an incredible tribute it became.
While the Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour has officially "retired from duty", this virtual walk-through helps to preserve the museum as it was, and offers the chance to relive and honor some of Virginia's greatest heroes: those who stood in harm's way - those who served. Please enjoy, and remember the debt of gratitude we owe to them.
- Rusty Nix and Lily Jones
Click on the panels and artifacts below to learn more:
WWI in the Trenches
The War at Sea
WWII Infantry and Marines
Homefront, Support, and Legacy