West Virginia State Capitol Complex Walking Tour
Overview ListenThe West Virgina Veterans Memorial was designed by P. Joseph Mullins, and constructed from 1990-1999 to honor the lives of over 10,000 West Virginian soldiers who passed away during the 20th century. The memorial itself is a section of the State Capitol Complex in Charleston.
The construction of the Memorial took nine years partially because it was originally a privately funded project. In 1994 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 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.
In addition to the West Virginia Veterans Memorial, the project also includes a virtual Archives Database that contains information about those 10,000 that honored by the memorial itself. This portion of the project is constantly being updated as new information is discovered about the Veterans.
These photos were all taken by P. Joseph Mullins.
This memorial is designed as a two-story monument that is honoring more than 10,000 West Virginias that made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for our Nation freedom. It is for the twentieth century conflicts because it is almost impossible to determine the total number of West Virginias that was in the American Revolution, War of 1812 and 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 that has a reflecting pool with each of the interior walls that are facing a polished black granite which has the names of these men and woman that gave their all. This Memorial for the brave men and women that served in West Virginia was dedication on Veterans Day 1995 which was on a Saturday November 11.
P. Joseph Mullins was the designer of the memorial that has four figures that represents the four Major twentieth century conflicts and has one figure of each of the military branches on the four limestone monoliths. He was from Charleston, WV and had his studio there when he was asked to do this memorial. Mr. Mullins received his MA in Fine Arts from Ohio University. He was a Vietnam veteran himself.
- Some of the numbers of West Virginia that had served in wars listed from the U.S. Veterans Affairs Office and the U.S. Dept. of Defense. These are the estimated service numbers for the twentieth century wars.
- Civil War (12 April 1861 - 26 May 1865): Estimated 40,000 to 46,000 (20,000-36,000 Union; 10,000-20,000 Confederate)
- Spanish-American War (21 April 1898 - 4 July 1902): 3,004
- World War I (6 April 1917 - 11 November 1918, extended to 1 April 1920 for those who served in Russia): 58,053
- World War II (7 December 1941 - 31 December 1946, extended to 25 July 1947 in some cases): 233,985
- Korean Conflict (25 June 1950 - 31 January 1955): 112,000
- Vietnam Era (5 August 1964 - 7 May 1975): 36,578
- Gulf War (1 August 1990 - cessation of hostilities on 11 April 1991): 12,000 bonuses paid
You can find this great memorial on the State Capital Complex behind and to the left side of Building one. If you are on Interstate 64 take exit 99 which is the State Capital/Greenbrier Street. Bring quarters because you have to pay to park but the memorial itself is free.