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Columbus, Ohio will be on the national radar again and this time it will be all about our veterans. We are very pleased to announce that late last week, President Trump signed into law a bill that designates the Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio as the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM). This distinguished designation creates the first ever national memorial honoring veterans of all branches of service and all eras of both conflicts and peacetime throughout the United States.
The legislation, HR 1900, passed unanimously out of both the U.S. House of Representatives last fall and the U.S. Senate earlier this month. The bill was co-sponsored by the entire Ohio Congressional delegation, including the original sponsors representing the Columbus and surrounding districts, Senators Rob Portman, Sherrod Brown, Congressman Steve Stivers and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. Additionally, Colonel Tom Moe worked closely with our national veteran’s organizations who supported this legislation.
NVMM is expected to open later this year and came to fruition through the leadership of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC), along with many private and public partners who envisioned replacing the old veterans memorial located in downtown Columbus with a statewide and now national veterans memorial. This ambitious endeavor has raised over $80 million and will be a world class museum when it opens later this year around Veteran’s Day. The vision of the CDDC leadership was to devise and create a facility that honored the contributions of individuals who served our country, many of whom, paid the ultimate sacrifice. Additionally, the NVMM will connect civilians with veterans and the military experience, inspire visitors to serve and engage in their communities, as well as, providing an educational space for school aged children to learn about the history of the military and the value of service.
“Our nation has a proud history of our men and women who have sacrificed and served our country to protect our freedoms. The NVMM will honor our veterans by preserving their stories, connecting our communities with those experiences, inspiring young people to engage and serve our country and provide a key link to education through interactive and permanent artifacts”, Steve Austria, former US Congressman and President of ZHF Consulting commented.
This project evolved from a visualization of the late Senator John H. Glenn from what was once the Veterans Memorial in Franklin County, to the Ohio Veterans Memorial and Museum, and now being recognized by an act of Congress and our President as the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. Congressman Austria continued, “I was proud to have worked with our veterans nationally to move this legislation forward. While the environment in Washington D.C. is very challenging, the Ohio Congressional delegation, including both of our U.S. Senators came together in a bi-partisan effort to pass this legislation. Guy Worley and Amy Taylor of the Columbus Downtown Development Partnership exhibited outstanding leadership as project managers of the NVMM.”
According to Congressman Austria, Colonel Tom Moe, former Ohio Director of Veterans Services and POW veteran, traveled the country and worked closely with the national Veteran’s Service Organizations who strongly supported this legislation. The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Paralyzed Veterans of America, all testified before Congress in the House Veterans Affairs Committee in favor of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum Act.
Ohio provides the perfect location for the NVMM as most of the country’s population is less than an eight hour drive to Columbus. The veteran community in Ohio has been a major driving force behind this project and has worked in conjunction with the CDDC’s to display exhibits and educate others about the mission of NVMM, with nearly one million veterans living in Ohio.
NVMM features include 53,000 total square feet of space, 30,000 of which will be for interactive and educations exhibits; public meeting rooms; memorial grove for remembrance and reflection; and space for special events, including those hosted by the military or veterans.
The ZHF Consulting team is proud to have engaged and play a supporting role in the passage of this historic designation for all our veterans as the legislation worked its way through both Chambers of Congress and was signed by the President.
Look for more information on this exciting project which will become a wonderful new attraction in downtown Columbus. Should you like to find more information about NVMM please visit http://www.nationalvmm.org/ or contact Steve Austria, President of ZHF Consulting, LLC or one of our other professionals.