Dayton VA hosts kickoff for National VA History Center

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton VA Medical Center hosted a kickoff event for its National VA History Center on Monday.

The event was hosted by U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, who said there’s no better place than Dayton for us to tell the story of America’s veterans. “President Lincoln was validated by President Grant when he came here to say that Dayton was a place that the entire country should be proud of,” he said.

By 2025, the old headquarters building will be used to collect and preserve the history of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We intend for not only the story of America’s veterans to be preserved but we want to share that with the entire country and there is no better place than here in Ohio,” Wilkie said. “This will keep hope alive and make sure that the stories of the men and women who carried the burden of freedom on their shoulders is never forgotten.”

A ceremony on Monday recognized the formal establishment of the center that will include a research archive and exhibit.

“Our audience is certainly our veterans, their families, and our employees but it’s also a place where we can share this story with the public at large and with researchers, writers, and scholars who can help tell that story,” said Mike Visconage, the VA history program director and chief historian.

Wilkie said the future history center cements Ohio’s place as the home for America’s veterans.

“Ohio is unique because when Ohio veterans retire from the military they come home and so we want them to be able to come here and research and also experience their own stories,” he said.

The ceremony was moderated by Rhonda Moore, and also featured remarks from Glenn Costie, of the Veterans Affairs History Center Foundation, and Mark Murdock, the director of the Dayton VA Medical Center.

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