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Entrance to the National Museum of the Marine Corps
Aerial view of the Museum under construction in April 2006

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the new historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. It is located in Quanticomarker, Virginiamarker and is free to the public. The museum had its grand opening on November 10, 2006 and is now the number one tourist attraction in Virginia Drawing over 500,000 people annually. On the day it was opened, President George W. Bush came to give a dedication and to also present the family of fallen Marine Jason Dunham the Medal of Honor.

President Bush: "These walls remind all who visit here that honor, courage, and commitment are not just words. They are core values for a way of life that puts service above self. And these walls will keep the history of the Marine Corps alive for generations of Americans to come."

Designed by Fentress Architects, the exterior design is meant to "evoke the image of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima," an image that is also preserved by the USMC War Memorialmarker. The museum is a tribute to the U.S. Marines who have served their countrymarker since 1775.

The new museum replaces the Marine Corps Historical Center, in the Washington Navy Yardmarker, which closed 1 July 2005, and the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum, in Quantico, Virginia, which closed on 15 November 2002.

The museum is a public-private venture, a cooperative effort of the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. The Foundation manages the museum operation, while the museum building will be donated to the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, established in 1979, is a private, non-profit organization which was established in support of historical programs of the Marine Corps. The MCHF programs initially included "education, awards, publications, special projects, preservation...." In 1999, the Foundation expanded its mission to include the creation of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Heritage Center

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is designed to be the centerpiece of a complex of facilities called the Marine Corps Heritage Center. This multi-use, campus includes the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park and Semper Fidelis Chapel; a demonstration area with parade grounds; hiking trails and other outdoor recreational offerings; a conference center and hotel; and an archive facility to restore and preserve Marine artifacts.

The chapel was completed in 2009 with a donation of $5 million from a former marine.


The museum features the following permanent exhibits, which were designed by Christopher Chadbourne and Associates, Inc.: The museum currently also offers exhibits regarding: the Global War on Terrorism, Art Works by Marine Artists, and the Marine Corps Band. Future expansion of the building will allow the installation of exhibits focusing on the Corps from 1775-WW1

In addition to historical exhibits including displays of artifacts, multimedia, and full immersion experiences, the museum facilities also include class rooms, a theater, a gift shop, bar and a restaurant.

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