The Women In Military Service For America Memorial

Dedicated in 1997, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) is billed as the “only major national memorial honoring all servicewomen — past present and future,” including the more than 2 million women veterans since the American Revolution.

The memorial, in Arlington, Va., occupies the ceremonial entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, and is built into and around The Hemicycle, a curving granite pavilion on four acres that was dedicated in 1932 as a gateway to this national military burial ground.

A hybrid of memorial and museum, WIMSA records the names and military histories of 250,000 women in its computerized historical database, called The Register, and continues to add more. The memorial pairs special exhibitions with a permanent collection of artifacts of women’s military service.

“The mission of the memorial is to tell the story of women’s service … the history of women in the military,” retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, president of the foundation that operates the memorial, said in a 2013 video produced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In addition to active-duty, Reserve, National Guard and veterans of the four branches, 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,” according to the memorial’s official website.

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