WHAT: The only major national memorial honoring all servicewomen—past, present and future. The Women In Military Service For America Memorial honors nearly 3 million women who have served or are serving in or with the US Armed Forces starting with the American Revolution.
WHERE: The 4.2 acre Ceremonial Entrance to Arlington National Cemetery in our nation’s capital.
WHEN: Open to the public every day except Christmas. Dedicated October 18, 1997. Groundbreaking held June 22, 1995.
WHO: Spearheaded by the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc. The Foundation, founded in 1985, is an IRS designated 501©(3) non-profit organization.
THOSE HONORED: All US servicewomen, past, present and future, including living or deceased women veterans; Active Duty, Reserve, Guard and US Public Health Service uniformed women; and women in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Civil Air Patrol. The Memorial also honors women who served overseas during conflicts, in direct support of the armed forces, in organizations such as the Red Cross, USO and Special Services; and members of the US Public Health Service Cadet Nurse Corps. The Foundation is seeking names, addresses, photos and memorable experiences of women who have served to be included in the Memorial’s Register, an interactive computer database available at the Memorial. Deceased servicewomen from any era or those civilian women who served with other civilian organizations can be registered by family members, friends and organizations.
HISTORY: Congressional resolutions to honor military women were introduced by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) and Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH). Signed into law by President Reagan in November 1986.
DESIGN: By Marion Gail Weiss and Michael Manfredi of Weiss/Manfredi Architects, New York City, winners of a national competition. The Memorial features an upper terrace with views of Arlington National Cemetery and the monuments of Washington, DC. On the terrace, there is an arc of large glass panels on which quotations from and about servicewomen are etched. This arc of glass introduces natural light into the Memorial’s Education Center. At the lower terrace, in front of the Hemicycle wall, are the reflecting pool and Court of Valor. The Education Center, located behind the Hemicycle, houses a Hall of Honor, exhibit gallery, theater, and the computer database of servicewomen called the Register. Through the Register, visitors may access photos, military histories and the individual stories of registered women.
FUNDING: The total cost of building the Memorial was $22 million. In building the Memorial, support came from federal grants; proceeds from the sale of commemorative silver dollars; and corporate, organization, and individual donations. The Memorial Foundation maintains and operates the Memorial Education Center; manages an archive and research collection relating to women in the military; conducts an aggressive education program; builds exhibits showcasing the different eras in which women have served using text, images, memorabilia and artifacts; and continues to register servicewomen past and present.
DONATIONS AND REGISTRATIONS: Click here to donate. Click here to register. Donations and registrations of service-women can also be sent to: Women In Military Service For America Memorial, Dept. 560, Washington, DC, 20042-0560. Telephone: 800-222-2294 or 703-533-1155. FAX: 703-931-4208. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Foundation is a registered participant in the Combined Federal Campaign, the annual workplace fund-raising drive conducted by the US government for all military, civilian agency and postal workers worldwide and the National Capital Area United Way Campaign. In state and corporate campaigns, donors may designate “Women In Military Service Memorial Foundation” on their pledge cards.