A. The Virginia War Memorial is established as a division within the Department of Veterans Services. The Virginia War Memorial, its grounds, and all its contents, furnishings, funds, endowments, and other property, now owned or hereafter acquired, are and shall remain property of the Commonwealth. The Commissioner shall maintain administrative and financial control of the Virginia War Memorial and its subsidiaries, including adopting regulations for the use of and visitation to the Memorial. Regulations of the Commissioner shall be exempt from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).
B. The mission of the Virginia War Memorial shall be to honor patriotic Virginians who rendered faithful service and sacrifice in the cause of freedom and liberty for the Commonwealth and the nation in time of war, honor all of Virginia’s veterans, preserve their history, educate the public, and inspire patriotism in all Virginians.
C. The Department shall, with the advice of the Virginia War Memorial Board, adopt policies governing (i) the programs and activities that may and should be carried out at the Memorial, (ii) the use of and visitation to the Memorial, and (iii) fees for the use of the Memorial.
D. The names and homes of record designation of all Virginians “Missing in Action” as a result of the Vietnam War and all Virginians “Killed in Action” (i) as a result of military operations against terrorism, (ii) as a result of a terrorist act, or (iii) in any armed conflict after December 6, 1941, shall be placed on the Virginia War Memorial after July 1, 2018. In the case of a Virginian “Killed in Action,” the name and home of record designation shall be placed on the Virginia War Memorial within one year of the date of confirmed death.
E. To preserve the dignity of military medals authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense and the memory of those who have rendered faithful service and sacrifice in the cause of freedom and liberty, the Virginia War Memorial division of the Department shall be vested with the full authority to take possession of military medals, ribbons, or certificates that come into the possession of the Commonwealth for which the ownership is unknown until such time as the true owner is able to take possession. The Virginia War Memorial division of the Department shall make reasonable efforts, based on available resources, to determine the rightful owner and return any military medal, ribbon, or certificate that comes into its possession pursuant to this section.
F. The Commissioner shall provide supervision of the Virginia War Memorial Education Foundation and any other nonprofit corporation established as an instrumentality to provide fundraising for the Memorial and assist in the details of administering the affairs of the Memorial.
2013, c. 234; 2016, c. 690.