This Memorial Day marks the 80th anniversary of the creation of the Soldiers Memorial in Downtown St. Louis and by fall, the renovations will be unveiled and it will reopen to the public.
The downtown memorial closed two years ago for a massive renovation. The $30 million project was funded by private donations.
The renovations have included an expansion of the courtyard and revamping of the interior which will feature exhibits documenting the St. Louis experience in wartime.
“Everything we’re doing here is through the lens of St. Louis,” explained Patrick Allie, Military & Arms curator for Missouri Historical Society.
Allie gave News 4 a preview of the renovations, describing some of the elements that will add to the visitor’s experience.
“One part of this project is taking the names listed in the Court of Honor and building a database that visitors will be able to search,” explained Allie. “We’re taking what is a list of names and making it very personal. This may be a person who lived in your neighborhood or went to your high school.”
The Missouri Historical Society which runs the Missouri History Museum took over the operations of the Soldiers Memorial from the city and is the curator of the exhibits.
Currently, the names of St. Louisans who made the ultimate sacrifice in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are inscribed on the stone in the memorial. Part of the renovations will include adding the names of those killed in other conflicts.
They’ve added a fountain featuring the five branches of the military and a reflecting pool that reflects the original sculpture.
The renovated memorial will open to the public November 3 ahead of Veteran’s Day, and like so many of St. Louis’ museums, it will be free to the public.Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.