Loudoun County will rededicate its World War I Memorial this Veterans Day, as it unveils a new plaque containing an integrated list of all veterans from Loudoun County who died during their service in the war.
The ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 11, 2021, at the memorial, located on the Loudoun County courthouse grounds. Participants will include representatives of local veterans and community organizations, the Loudoun County Foreign War Memorial Trust Fund Advisory Committee, and members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
The memorial bears a plaque with the names of thirty Loudoun County service members who fought and died in World War I. When the memorial was erected in 1921, during the “Jim Crow” era, the names were segregated according to race, with the names of three Black service members listed below two dividing lines that separated them from the names of the white service members.
On July 1, 2020, a new law took effect in the Commonwealth of Virginia permitting local governing bodies to remove, relocate, contextualize or cover monuments or memorials for veterans of any war or conflict. The Board of Supervisors, with the support of the Foreign War Memorial Trust Fund Advisory Committee, authorized the replacement of the plaque to integrate the list of service members.
The advisory committee, comprised of local veterans, members of American Legion Post 34, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1177, and chaired by retired Judge Thomas Horne, expressed their support for this project and recommended the use of monies in the county’s War Memorial Trust Fund to design, fabricate and install the new plaque. The trust fund, established in 1986, is comprised of funds raised by community and veterans’ groups, designated for the maintenance of war memorials and monuments, and administered by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
The new plaque is identical to the original, but integrates, in alphabetical order, the names of those who served. The county’s Department of General Services assisted the advisory committee with the production and installation of the new plaque.
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