Each year on November 11, Americans honor and celebrate the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have served this country to protect our freedoms. And while this year’s Veterans Day looks a little different (many of the annual in-person Veterans Day events, commemorations, and wreath-layings have either been canceled or moved to virtual experiences), November 11, 2020 marks the highly-anticipated grand opening of the National Museum of the United States Army.

National Museum of the U.S. Army

The museum, located on a publicly accessible area of Fort Belvoir in southern Fairfax County, is the first comprehensive and truly national museum to capture, display, and interpret more than 245 years of U.S. Army history, bringing that history to life as told through the eyes of the American soldier.

The museum is free to the public, but timed-entry tickets are required. Here’s how to request yours. (Can’t wait for your visit? Don’t miss the Virtual Grand Opening Ceremony live streaming on November 11 from 2-3pm EST.)

Here are 10 of the must-see exhibits and features of Fairfax County’s newest museum, the National Museum of the United States Army.

Army Theater

Army Theater - National Museum of the U.S. ArmyThe Army Theater’s film, “Of Noble Deeds,” explores what it means to truly be an American Soldier. It includes footage of Soldiers and current Army operations along with re-creations of some of the Army’s most significant battles – broadcast on a 300-degree screen with external sensory elements.
Don’t miss: “Of Noble Deeds” is shown multiple times a day and does not require an additional ticket.

 

Experiential Learning Center

Experiential Learning Center - National Museum of the U.S. Army
The Experiential Learning Center (ELC) offers a unique and immersive learning space where visitors of all ages can develop skills and have fun with Geography, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (G-STEM).
Don’t miss: In the Training Center, there are five learning stations where you simulate the work of Army Soldiers, from engineering bridge building to aerial vehicle operations. And in the Action Center, transport yourself into Army experiences through a series of virtual reality simulations.

 

The Medal of Honor Experience

Medal of Honor Garden at the National Museum of the U.S. Army
The Medal of Honor Experience invites visitors to explore the history of the Medal of Honor and learn about the award recommendation process and hierarchy of Army awards that recognize heroic actions.
Don’t miss: The adjacent outdoor Medal of Honor Garden, which identifies and honors Army recipients of the nation’s highest award for valor – a peaceful space allowing visitors the opportunity to reflect on the values exemplified by the medal’s recipients.

 

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We can’t wait to hear about your experience at Fairfax County’s newest attraction. Share your excitement and experience in the comments below or tag us on social media using #FXVA or @VisitFairfax.

 

*Photos courtesy National Museum of the United States Army/Duane Lempke.