The Military Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery has reopened to the public after six months of significant renovations.
The memorial opened its doors on Friday for Memorial Day weekend, after closing in late November for construction. The work focused on upgrading restrooms to make them ADA-accessible and more family-friendly, Kaprice Dyson, the memorial’s director of marketing, tells ARLnow. Additionally, the 196-seat theater was turned into a multi-purpose event space.
A phase two renovation is forthcoming at the end of 2023 that will concentrate on the exhibit galleries. The funds for the renovations came from “100% donations,” Dyson says.
As part of the reopening celebration, Military Women’s Memorial welcomed an all-woman Honor Flight yesterday (Wednesday) to be among the first groups to tour the revamped facilities. More than a hundred female veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Desert Storm visited from Orlando, Florida. The oldest veteran on the trip was 96 years old.
The $22 million Military Women’s Memorial opened in October 1997 and is located at the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery. Incorporated into its facade is a retaining wall — known as a hemicycle – that was first dedicated in 1932 as part of the Memorial Bridge project. It’s celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
The memorial honors the estimated three million female veterans that have served since the Revolutionary War. It’s the “nation’s only major national memorial to honor all women who have [defended] the nation,” according to its website.
The memorial also features a historical database featuring stories of women who served, etched glass tablets, reflecting pool, a 200-jet fountain, and exhibits, including one that honors the contributions of servicewomen of color to the United States. That exhibit went on display in March 2021 and is now part of the memorial’s permanent collection, Dyson says.
Over Memorial Day weekend including Friday, more than a thousand people visited the memorial, according to Dyson.
Local Man Charged in Bailey’s Xroads Shooting — “Fairfax County police have charged a 33-year-old Arlington man in connection with a shooting that occurred Nov. 20 at the Food Star supermarket at 5521 Leesburg Pike. According to police, officers were called to the store at 6:43 p.m. by Harvey Coleman, of Arlington, after he reported to police he had shot someone in self-defense… Following several interviews and the review of surveillance footage, detectives have charged Coleman with malicious wounding and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.” [Sun Gazette]
Ice Cream Store Now Open in Pentagon City — “Have I got a scoop (get it?) for my followers! For those who may be in search of a sweet treat this afternoon, Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream opened today at @PentagonRow (Westpost). Impressive variety.” [Twitter]
Arlington Vet Chooses Health Career — “After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, she was commissioned as an Army officer and chose to attend flight training, following in her late father’s footsteps. Soon, she was soon piloting Blackhawk helicopters… it was the time she was in the military that really prepared her for physician-assistant school.” [Sun Gazette]
It’s Monday — Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Northwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Sunrise at 7:06 a.m. and sunset at 4:47 p.m. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 51. South wind 5 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. [Weather.gov]
Ballston Building to Be Renovated — “Arlington’s Monday Properties has made two new office building acquisitions as it banks on workers across the market returning to their offices in the coming months. The commercial property owner and developer has purchased the former home of CACI International’s headquarters, Three Ballston Plaza at 1100 N. Glebe Rd. — for $118 million. The 330,000-square-foot property, one of the most prominent in Ballston, will get a Gensler-designed renovation to help it compete in the modern commercial office environment.” [Washington Business Journal]
Rescued Dog Seeking New Home — “[Several] weeks ago, a young, mixed breed dog was rescued after being trapped between two fences alongside I-395. Since then, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which renamed the dog “Benito,” has been helping him feel happier and more confident. ‘We were unable to find Benito’s owner, so he’s looking for a new family to call his own.'” [Patch]
Local Shops Offer ‘Passport’ — “On Small Business Saturday 2021, November 27th, Arlington and Falls Church shoppers will get a chance to participate in a shopping ‘Passport’ program to discover unique shops, find deals, keep their shopping dollars local and be eligible to win prizes. Led by One More Page Books, the Passport enables shoppers who are looking to participate in the national #shoplocal effort to easily discover small businesses near them.” [Press Release]
MLK Contest for Students Now Open — “Arlington Public Schools students are invited to take part in the annual ‘Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary and Visual Contest.’ Entries are due by 5 p.m. Thu, Dec. 16.” [Arlington Public Schools]
VFW Post in Va. Square Profiled — “7News’ Ashlie Rodriguez discovered a little-known secret, tucked away in Arlington, Virginia, where hundreds of veterans gather, swap stories, share memories, and find a place of refuge. Here’s a look inside the John Lyon VFW Post 3150.” [WJLA]
State Tax Coffers Are Overflowing — “Virginia budget officials say they’ve never seen anything like it — more than $13 billion in additional state revenues this year and in the next two fiscal years. The House Appropriations Committee projects a $3.5 billion increase in revenue above the current forecast in the fiscal year that began July 1, based on higher pending forecasts of state income tax and other revenues in the pair of budgets that Gov. Ralph Northam will present to the General Assembly next month.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
It’s Thursday — Today will start off sunny and warm, with a high near 73, before a rainy evening. Southwest wind 7 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Sunrise at 6:54 a.m. and sunset at 4:52 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny, breezy and cooler, with a high near 50. Northwest wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. [Weather.gov]
Key Bridge Marker Rediscovered — “A recently identified marker in Virginia hitherto thought lost to history has been rediscovered – hiding in plain sight… The newly-rediscovered marker stands at the Virginia entrance to Key Bridge in the furthest north grassy median separating the westbound entrance to the George Washington Parkway, North Fort Myer Drive, and North Lynn Street.” [Sun Gazette]
Vet Punched By Litterbug — “Arlington County police are looking for two suspects who beat up a military veteran after she asked them to pick up trash dumped outside their car… on 28th St. South near Arlington Ridge Road about 9:30 a.m. Sunday.” [NBC 4]
Northam Signs Bill at Marymount — “In what he called a move that will make the commonwealth more welcoming and inclusive, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill extending financial aid benefits to students who came to the country illegally and who are eligible for in-state tuition. ‘They are Virginians, in every sense of the word, except for the immigration status,’ Northam said before signing the bill at Marymount University in Arlington on Monday.” [WTOP]
Free Clinic Continues Vax Effort — “AFC has vaccinated 65% of our patients… Vaccine hesitant patients require a different, more intensive effort, but having doses on-site will allow us to use any encounter to encourage the vaccine for those who haven’t yet received it.” [Twitter]
Drunk Man Robbed in Clarendon — “At approximately 1:29 a.m. on June 11, police were dispatched to the report of an intoxicated male walking in the roadway. Upon arrival, officers made contact with the individual who stated that between 12:00 a.m. and 12:30 a.m., he was exiting an establishment when he was approach by the unknown male suspect. The suspect told the victim to go to the ATM and withdraw an undisclosed amount of cash. After failing to obtain money, the suspect demanded the victim give him whatever money he had, and lifted his shirt to reveal a firearm.” [ACPD]
Crash Along Lee Highway — “Two WB lanes of Lee Hwy are partially blocked, and the NB lane of N George Mason Dr. is completely blocked due to a motor vehicle collision.” [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Proposed HQ2 ‘Helix’ Tower Is Too Tall — “Amazon.com Inc. may need to lop off the tip of its proposed drill-bit-like structure, the Helix, at its PenPlace development to ensure the safety of flights coming into and out of Reagan National Airport. Engineers working for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority determined the 15-story building is roughly 13 feet taller than the maximum allowable height for structures that close to the airport.” [Washington Business Journal, WJLA]
Homeless Population Down This Year — “The number of individuals counted as homeless across Arlington [this year] was down 14 percent from 2020 and declined by 26 percent since 2017, according to new figures from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). A total of 171 individuals were counted as homeless – either in shelters or living on the street – in the annual ‘Point in Time’ survey.” [Sun Gazette]
Update on Arlington Policing Practices — “Our Police Department has created an internal workgroup to review current policies and ensure they are aligned with best practices. Although excessive use of force has never been tolerated and our officers have been providing emergency medical treatment for years, additional language was added to our Use of Force policy to formalize current practices.” [Arlington County]
Arlington Man Has Big TikTok Following — “Tri Phan of Arlington, Virginia, has amassed 1.5 million followers since he began posting workout and healthy cooking videos in November. The 23-year-old, who is working on his master’s degree in data and business analytics at American University, often does two versions of his content, one in English and one in Vietnamese; about 60 percent of his followers are Vietnamese, he says.” [Associated Press]
Vets to Hike to Arlington from Connecticut — “On Tuesday, June 1, Will Reese will set out on “Ruck to Remember (R2R) – a 380-mile trek from Avon, CT, to Arlington, VA, to raise awareness and funds for APK Charities. Reese, who launched R2R in 2019, this time will be joined by hundreds of active and retired Military from all around the world who will all don “ruck-sacks” – military backpacks – for the 7-day march, which will culminate on Tuesday, June 8.” [We-ha.com]
Soon: No Tour Bus Parking at AF Memorial — “The removal of motorcoach parking at the entrance to the Air Force Memorial will present mobility issues, she said. “‘It will ultimately limit the number of people visiting the memorial,’ added [Guild of Professional Tour Guides] colleague Maribeth Oakes. Walking from the main cemetery entrance to the Air Force Memorial is a round trip of three miles and the trams, which cost $15 for adults, can fill up before the group of 58 could board. The guild would like a southern expansion with short-term parking for motorcoaches.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Planning Process for Pentagon City Underway — “Amazon.com Inc.’s vision for Pentagon City is decidedly futuristic, anchored by a helix-shaped building that looks straight out of a sci-fi novel. Arlington County’s existing plans that guide the neighborhood’s growth, meanwhile, date back to the days of disco… The open question is how much more development the tech giant will inspire.” [Washington Business Journal]
SUV Overturns on GW Parkway — From WTOP yesterday morning: “NB George Washington Pkwy before the Key Bridge, crash involves one on its side with the left lane only squeezing by.” [Twitter]
GMU to Partner with Local American Legion Post — “Realizing a need existed to help veterans and their families in similar situations, leaders at the law school established the Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (M-VETS) in 2004…. A new partnership with American Legion Post 139, which will be standing up a new building in Arlington, will allow the clinic to further increase its impact.” [George Mason University]
New Apartment Building Opening — “AHC Inc., a leading developer of affordable housing in the Washington-Baltimore metro region, is pleased to introduce a new apartment community in Arlington, VA, called The Apex. Featuring a total of 256 apartments, the $100 million development has started to welcome its first residents and is currently accepting applications.” [Press Release]
Arlington Housing Remains Pricey — “The city of Falls Church in Virginia remains the most expensive housing market, by official jurisdiction, with a median price of $820,000 last month. But among larger jurisdictions, Virginia’s Arlington County remains the most expensive, at $600,000 last month.” [WTOP]
Instant-Runoff Voting Challenges — “Technical, legal and financial complexities likely will mean any start to ‘instant-runoff’ County Board voting in Arlington will be pushed back to 2022 at the soonest. ‘It’s not practical for this year. The earliest this could possibly be used is next year,’ said Arlington Electoral Board secretary Scott McGeary, summing things up during a Feb. 6 Electoral Board meeting.” [InsideNova]
Reminder: Blue Line Work Starts Tomorrow — “Metro’s entire Blue Line is being shut down for more than three months starting Saturday… platform reconstruction work [is] being performed at the Arlington Cemetery station.” [ARLnow]
Pizza will be on the house at Colony Grill (2800 Clarendon Blvd) for any active, inactive or retired members of the U.S. military on Wednesday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.
“This is a small token of thanks to some exceptional Americans,” said Ken Martin, chief operating officer and co-owner of Colony Grill, in a press release. “A few pizzas are obviously not much in the grand scheme of things, but we want the men and women in our armed forces, past and present, to know we are grateful for their service.”
The offer applies to dine-in orders. The pizzas regularly cost around $13.
The pizzeria will also accept emailed or physical 8×10-inch photos of men and women in their military uniforms. Contributors do not have to worry about framing, as Colony Grill handles framing before installing them on the Wall of Heroes, a tribute to former and current military members who served in the United States and abroad.
According to a press release, the photographs “honor the WWII history of the original Colony Grill restaurant.”
After World War II, owners at the original Colony Grill in Stamford, Connecticut began collecting framed pictures of those who fought to honor Connecticut’s contributions to the war effort. Now, locals to each new location are invited to bring pictures of their friends or family members in the service to be hung on the brick walls.
Those who want to learn more about the complimentary pizza or submit a photo is being asked to email [email protected].
The original Colony Grill opened in an Irish immigrant neighborhood of Stamford in 1935. Although it originally served a wide array of foods, today it serves a thin-crust “bar pie,” served with its signature “hot oil” topping. The Clarendon Colony Grill, which opened in mid-October, is the first outside of the New York metropolitan area.
In response to the pandemic, the company has erected glass partitions, launched an app for contact-less ordering, and invested in a streamlined check platform for employees, according to the co-owners.
Colony Grill is open daily from 11:30 a.m. until late closing, at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Fillmore Street, for up to 170 people.
Big Costco Crowds Over the Weekend — The Pentagon City Costco drew big crowds and long queues of cars over the weekend, as people stocked up on supplies amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. There were some reports of the store running low on items like toilet paper. [Twitter, Twitter]
Vets Visit Iwo Jima Memorial — “This February marks 75 years since the American flag was raised atop Mt. Suribachi, depicted in the famous photograph by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. That photo became the model for the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. This milestone is the reason a group of more than 50 Battle of Iwo Jima veterans descended on the memorial this week.” [WJLA]
Strong Finishes for W-L Teams — Among other action this weekend, the Washington-Liberty boys placed second in the 6D North Region boys basketball tournament — and will now advance to states — while the W-L girls track team placed third at the state track tournament. [InsideNova, Twitter]
Arlington Deploys Mobile Library Truck — “Arlington Public Library announces the arrival of The Truck, a traveling library designed to hold hundreds of books, games, crafts and DVDs for all ages and interests. The Truck’s first outing will be to Plaza Library on Wednesday, March 4 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.” [Arlington Public Library]
Voice of America Profiles Local Cornhole League — “A number of bars in Arlington, Virginia, offer their customers more than a selection of craft beers and cocktails, they offer them a chance to try their hand at cornhole, a game in which players take turns throwing small bags of corn kernels at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. It’s a unique bit of Americana that’s bringing people together.” [VOA News]
Owners of Bar Bao and The Lot Squabble — “The owners of Social Restaurant Group are accusing one another of fraud, financial mismanagement, and breach of contract in half a dozen lawsuits spanning the past year. The litigation involves at least five restaurants.” [Washingtonian]
Pedestrian Struck on Columbia Pike — A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Columbia Pike near S. Highland Street around noon on Friday. Passersby rushed to help the victim, who remained on the ground after being struck. The crash appeared to happen prior the crosswalk in the westbound lanes of the Pike. The pedestrian reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries. [Twitter/@ARLnowDOTcom]
ACPD Ramping Up Seat Belt Enforcement — “During the Thanksgiving holiday, Arlington County Police Department is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a high-visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign to work toward reducing the number of fatalities that occur when drivers and passengers fail to buckle up. The campaign runs from November 25 – December 6, 2019.” [Arlington County]
Veteran Suicide Run Ends in Arlington — “Two Massachusetts men finished a 500-mile run from Cape Cod to Arlington National Cemetery on Friday to raise awareness of veteran suicides. Joshua Milich, 29, of Somerset, and Brian Tjersland, 52, of Dartmouth, started off on their journey from Massachusetts National Cemetery on Veterans Day.” [Cape Cod Times, NBC 4]
Hope ‘Doesn’t Know What to Expect’ with Majority — “Like his three colleagues also comprising the Arlington delegation to the House of Delegates, Patrick Hope has never served in the majority. That changes on Jan. 8, when Democrats take control of a body that has been under authority of Republicans for more than two decades – and when, for much of that time, Democrats were as much an afterthought as the groom at a wedding reception.” [InsideNova]
YHS Football Advances to Regional Final — “On Friday night, the Patriots shut the [Madison] Warhawks down, scoring a 25-10 win in the Class 6 Region D semifinals for their second victory of the postseason. The Patriots, who went on the road and never trailed, secured that third playoff game; they will face Westfield, another traditional power, in next week’s region final.” [Washington Post, InsideNova]
HQ2 to Include Banana Stand, Local Businesses — “Schoettler said the outdoor areas will likely include elements from its Seattle headquarters, such as a community vegetable garden and a banana stand… Amazon’s in-house food program will only serve about one-quarter of the HQ2 workforce, encouraging the majority of the employees to each lunch at nearby businesses. And because Amazon will own the buildings, Schoettler said it will be able to curate the retail to focus on locally owned businesses.” [Bisnow, WAMU, Washington Business Journal]
County Again Recognized for Tech Savvy — “Arlington County is once again among the top ranked digital counties in the nation. The Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties 2019 award designated Arlington second place in the 150,000-249,999 population category.” [Arlington County]
Legion Development a National Model? — “Post 139 and APAH’s partnership should serve as an example for addressing the issue of homeless veterans, said Darryl Vincent, chief operating officer of nonprofit U.S.VETS… In 2018, there were 12,806 American Legion posts across the country, a huge inventory of property that could be repurposed as affordable housing.” [Politico]
Helicopter Noise Amendment Passes House — “The House of Representatives adopted a set of amendments to H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act, including two offered by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) which would address helicopter noise in the National Capital Region.” [Press Release]
ACPD: Lock Your Car and House — “The Arlington County Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies throughout the country in a public safety campaign aimed at promoting crime prevention strategies to reduce and prevent thefts from vehicles and homes. The campaign, known as the 9 P.M. Routine, encourages residents to conduct security checks in their homes and vehicles each evening to ensure their property is secure.” [Arlington County]
APS Teacher Receives National Recognition — “Wilfredo Padilla Melendez, teacher at Claremont Immersion School, received Instructure’s 2019 Educator of the Year Award. Wilfredo was recognized as one of six educators who go above and beyond to redefine traditional classroom activities.” [Press Release]
Photo courtesy Arlington VA/Flickr
Construction on the Washington Blvd (Route 27) bridge near the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery is now complete.
Arlington County shared a video this week spotlighting the completion of the bridge this past May. The span was originally built in the 1940s.
“The substructure includes granite, which is not a very common material that we use in our bridges these days,” said VDOT Project Development Engineer Nicholas Roper, who is also a retired Army colonel.
Roper explained that crews were able to widen the bridge and add granite cladding to the structure, adding that, “three of the original piers from the 1940s still remain.”
As part of the reconstruction, VDOT added a sidewalk on one side of the bridge and a 14-foot wide path, which opened in 2017, on the other side for pedestrians and cyclists.
“It’s a place where daily residents of Arlington County and thousands of individuals… traverse the bridge,” said retired Army Col. Joseph A. Simonelli Jr., who chairs the county’s Military and Veterans and Committee, which recommended the name.
“It honors the 13,000 current Arlington veterans,” said Simonelli. “And the millions of veterans in our nation. And as a veteran, it makes me proud.”