The National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum is a place of honor, tribute, and remembrance for POW/MIA service members, their families, and the nation. Located in Northeast Florida at the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Master Jet Base, the vision for the space is to establish a National Memorial for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces who are still Missing in Action. It is designed with the goal to become a national destination site for our citizens to acknowledge, contemplate, and pay tribute to our American Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.
The PRIME AE team is honored to be part of the founding team that launched the National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum. Our work included leading the initial programming and visioning; preparation of the master plan; conceptual architectural design; and assistance in the development of the fundraising program, budgeting, and support collateral.
History, emotion, patriotism, and pride are prerequisites to the creation of a sacred place that honors the bravest of our nation, and these elements are woven viscerally into the physical fabric of this hallowed ground. Intended to connect with visitors on an emotional, intellectual, and physical level, the complex unites individuals, the memorial environment, the country, and even the cosmos through a design framework that makes up the museum structures, the surrounding gardens, and the airspace above. The sun and the seasons drove the location of structures where solar activity on September’s National POW/MIA Recognition Day creates a palpable natural experience. The entrance to the complex is serious and somber with strong references to hope, solitude, captivity, and a yearning for closure. The enormity of the space left by these service members is evident through monumental spaces that represent the intangibility associated with those still missing. Juxtaposed groves of trees and forests of steel create areas where visitors can contemplate the natural order of life, the human condition, and the plight of freedom. Education, artifact preservation, research, and discovery are other integral parts of the full experience of the complex.
The National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum is a destination for all, focused on the hope that visitors will leave enriched, reverent, and called to tell the story of the nation’s Prisoners of War and Missing in Action heroes.