The West Virginia Veterans Memorial was designed by Charleston native P. Joseph Mullins, and built in stages from 1990-1999. The monument honors the over 10,000 West Virginian soldiers who lost their lives in the service of their nation. The memorial was originally funded by private donations and completed with the support of the state legislature.
The memorial began as a privately
funded project and began with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 22,
1990. The foundation was completed in 1991, and the monoliths were completed in
1992. In 1994, the legislature provided for supplemental funding that greatly
increased the speed of construction. It is estimated that the memorial's total
costs are higher than four million. The project has continued through the
Veterans Memorial Archives, where background information has been gathered on
each Veteran honored in the Memorial. This portion of the project is constantly
being updated as new information is discovered about the Veterans.
The monument itself
contains four sculptures, also designed and sculpted by P. Joseph Mullins.
These sculptures include a World War One Army doughboy, a World War Two Navy
sailor, a Korean Conflict Air Force Aviator, and a Vietnam Marine Corps marine.
The Memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day 1995, and the World War Two Navy
sailor sculpture was also dedicated on that day. In the following years of 1997,
1998, and 1999 on Veterans Day, sculptures of the World War One Army doughboy,
Korean Conflict Air Force Aviator and Vietnam Marine Corps marine were
The memorial is a
two-story oval monument to honor more than 10,000 West Virginias that made the
ultimate sacrifice in fighting for our Nation’s freedom. The memorial honors
those lost in the twentieth-century conflicts, because it is almost impossible
to determine the total number of West Virginians that served in the American
Revolution, War of 1812 and the Mexican War with the state still being a part of
Virginia at the times these wars were fought.
The memorial is made
of four limestone monoliths with a reflecting pool around them. Each of the
interior walls is finished with a polished black granite which has the names
of the Veterans on them. The Veterans Memorial Commission compiled names of
West Virginia Veterans to be used in the Memorial. This Memorial is for the
brave West Virginian men and women who served in these twentieth-century wars.
P. Joseph Mullins was
the designer of the memorial and the four statues that represent the major
twentieth-century conflicts and one figure from each war. He is from
Charleston, WV, and he had his studio in Charleston when he was asked to do design
the memorial. Mr. Mullins received his MA in Fine Arts from Ohio University. He
is a Vietnam veteran himself.