Americans in Wartime Experience

A Project Driven by Passion

The idea for a museum to honor American veterans arose among a group of Vietnam Veterans in Manassas, Virginia in the mid-1990s. Over the years, their passionate vision and dedication to build a museum caught the attention of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, who expressed support for the project.

In 2003, the Museum's Board decided to expand the initial vision and support the development of a national museum with a broader goal. As the plan took shape it was decided that this new initiative would honor all who served our country in times of war, from all military branches, both on the home front and the battlefront. This story would span the major conflicts from World War I until today.

That same year, the National Museum of Americans in Wartime was chartered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Initially named the National Museum of Military History, the project was led by its Board of Trustees. A National Advisory Board and Steering Committee were created in 2006-2007, and Museum staff members were hired shortly after.


In the spring of 2010, an official property was secured when the Hylton family of Prince William County donated an spectacular 70-acre site very close to I-95 and within a couple of miles of the National Marine Corps Museum. It is also adjacent to one of Virginia's largest tourist attractions, the enormous Potomac Mills Mall.

With the guidance of its leadership and support of its community partners, the Museum’s founding campaign was launched to raise the remaining funds necessary to make this vision a reality.


In 2021, as the overall plan came into sharper focus, it became clear that the vision for this project was much broader than what traditionally might be called a museum.

The Americans in Wartime Experience brand was introduced.

This new name and brand reflects the original mission and vision but captures the idea that this property will introduce an entirely new category to the national museum scene: an experiential museum. Will it be a museum? In a way, yes. But we'd prefer to say it will contain a museum—and will be so much more.
The Americans in Wartime Experience explores the impact of war and conflict on America since WWI. It honors those who served in the military and on the home front and highlights the values they demonstrated in serving – duty, honor, and courage. It examines how periods of conflict have profoundly shaped American society. It educates visitors about the costs of war, both on a personal and social level. It challenges visitors to remember the service and sacrifices made by their fellow citizens to preserve and defend our freedoms. LEARN MORE

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