Virginia Veteran records & monuments

These are some pictures I took in Jan 2006 at the Virginia War Monument, located at: 621 S Belvidere St, Richmond, VA 23220. I highly recommend a visit.

I’ve visited this Monument several times. I’ve also told several friends and family who are veterans about this monument. They all told me they were really impressed and glad they visited. This picture above (that I use for my profile picture) was taken by my husband during our visit in March 2008.

All the names of known Virginia veterans, who died in combat from World War II to Vietnam, are on the wall. There is also a research room and visitor center.

Mar 2008, in the Virginia War Monument visitor center
March 2008, in Visitor Center at the Virginia War Monument

I asked about WWI veterans at this monument. I was told about another monument in Richmond, built in 1932. It’s in the William Byrd Park. The gold star began with WWI. Families hung a blue star in their window, often near their front door. One blue star for each soldier in their family. A silver star for wounded. When someone died, a gold star was placed over the blue star. The newspapers also ran columns labeled Gold Star Veterans when casualty lists were reported. Or small town newspapers reported on a local gold star veteran.

1918 newspaper clipping
Mar 2008, Virginia WWI monument

Here is a link about this WWI monument. It ended up raining on my visit. Some brighter pictures and more information about the monument are at this link.

Virginia did something unique after World War I, which I think is a treasure 100 years later. All veterans who survived WWI were asked to fill in a questionnaire. I’ve seen some records handwritten, some typed. Questions like: their occupation before the war, religion, how many times gassed, where served, and their opinion about several things. It used to be one of the searchable databases on Library of Virginia website and you could download TIFF files of these scanned records. Now, with the updated website, you can search by the veteran’s name. These questionnaires are also a part of the transcribing projects.

Here is a link to the WWI collections on the Library of Virginia website. Info about war and Virginia veteran projects (includes pictures)

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