With the two-year, $21.5 million female-headed construction effort drawing to a close, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) in Arlington National Cemetery will be dedicated Oct. 18. The WIMSA education center, honoring the 1.8 million women who have served in the U.S. armed forces, will feature a Hall of Honor, 14 display bays, a 196-seat theater and a computerized registry of members. The memorial area will also include a fountain, a reflecting pool and 11 etched glass tablets that light up at night.
Thirty-eight year old Margaret Van Voast, on-site project manager, was never in the military, but her experiences in the mostly-male construction industry gave her a common bond with the honored women. Van Voast, who with several other women managed the entire endeavor, from its construction to locating women veterans and fund-raising. She states, “This building is going to be a part of history, and we are a part of that history. It’s pretty amazing to walk away and know that this will still be here generations from now.”