The Veterans Memorial Museum covers wars of the 20th century, including both world wars plus wars and conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. Its 10 rooms display more than 2,000 items, including uniforms, weapons, model ships, photographs, personal histories and countless memorabilia. There are exhibits on the firebombing of Japanese cities, the Navajo code talkers, and a bicycle used on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The names of more than 400,000 American servicemen who gave their lives in World War II are engraved on the walls of a room that somberly contains a body shipping box. Other rooms carrying names of those who died in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
This is a very interesting museum, yet despite its importance and location right on the Strip, is hardly ever crowded with visitors. Maybe that will change when a former highlight of the museum, a 70-foot-long WWII bronze memorial featuring 50 life-size soldiers storming a beach (modeled after real soldiers from all 50 states), is relocated to a new outside home along Highway 76 as part of Branson Forward’s beautification project. By the way, there’s also a Veterans Memorial Garden, on Highway 76 where it meets Roark Valley Road.