National Army Museum in Va. set to reopen in June, its 246th birthday

The National Museum of the United States Army will reopen its doors in June after closing in mid-December last year due to coronavirus concerns.

The museum, located in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, opened for the first time on Veterans Day in 2020 before abruptly closing 34 days after it opened.

“The U.S. Army has announced the National Museum of the United States Army will re-open to the public on June 14, 2021. An auspicious date, to be sure!,” U.S. Army officials reported Friday. “The U.S. Army made the decision to reopen the Museum after carefully monitoring the rate of COVID-19 and consulting state, federal and U.S. Army health guidelines.”

June 14 is the date that the U.S. Army celebrates its “birthday,” the day Congress passed a resolution establishing the formation of a continental army to oppose British forces in Boston on that day in 1775.

“June will be a month of celebration as we recognize Army Heritage Month, the Army’s birthday and the reopening of the Army museum,” Acting Secretary of the Army, John Whitley, said in a news release. “As the museum tells the history of our American Soldiers and honors their accomplishments and sacrifices, we will also reflect on their more recent service to our nation, including their contributions to COVID-19 and disaster-relief efforts, and the protection they provide us all.”

The Museum is the first to capture, display and interpret the Army’s history by telling stories through the eyes of Soldiers, the release stated.

“Its’ displays and interactive-learning exhibits illustrate the Army’s role in building and defending our nation, as well as Army humanitarian missions and technological and medical breakthroughs built on Army ingenuity.”

The museum features galleries, exhibits, a multisensory 300-degree theater, a rooftop garden and hundreds of rare and historic treasures.

Tickets are available through the museum’s website. All tickets are timed and must be reserved in advance.

COVID-19 mask guidance will be based on CDC guidelines, the Department of the Army and the Virginia’s directives closer to the opening date. The museum will update its website to reflect the most current visitor information.

“The health and safety of the Museum’s visitors, volunteers, and staff continues to be a top priority. The Museum is aware of the May 13 CDC new mask guidelines and is monitoring adjustments to the Department of the Army and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s guidelines for museums,” Museum officials said.

More information on the museum — including an interactive map of the facility, a list of exhibits, educational programs and a special events calendar — can be found on their webpage.

Below is a short video tour of the museum:

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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