Virginia War Memorial Carillon
The carillon remains a constant reminder of the heroic efforts of those who served during World War I. Virginia Historical Society
On 2 March 1928 the Senate passed a bill authorizing the construction
of a memorial to honor those Virginians who served in World War I. Debate over the memorial had been going
on for several years, as citizens and legislators argued over the design of the monument and how to fund it.
In the 1924 session of the Virginia General Assembly, legislators approved an act creating a war memorial
commission "for the purpose of erecting in the city of Richmond a memorial" to the men and women who
served in the war. Extensive discussion centered around the design of the memorial, and it was eventually
agreed that a carillon, or singing tower, would be constructed.
Once a decision had been reached concerning the form of the memorial, fund-raising efforts began
in earnest. Wary of assuming too great a financial responsibility in the matter, members of the house
and senate stipulated in the act that no appropriations would be made by the state until two conditions
were met. First, private funds would be needed to purchase bells for the carillon, amounting to a
sum of nearly $75,000. Second, provisions for the perpetual care of the memorial needed to be
made by the City of Richmond or a private group or association. Both requirements were readily
met, and construction of the carillon soon began on land in Byrd Park donated by the City of Richmond.
Today, this memorial remains a constant reminder of the heroic efforts of those who served during World War I.
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