Martinsville-Henry County is an area full of history and heritage. This sense of local pride has produced countless military service members dating back to the Revolutionary War, and is home to many military veterans of past and current American conflicts. Displayed throughout MHC, the love for our veterans both native and non, can be seen not just for a weekend but year-round.
The first stop to make should be in the heart of Uptown Martinsville to see the truly larger than life rendition of America’s stars and stripes by Scott LoBaido. The renowned artist, whose riveting depictions of the American flag can be seen all across America, used his patriotic artistry to create, Old Glory, a stunning American flag mural on the outer wall of TheatreWorks in Uptown Martinsville. LoBaido created this 38' x 18' mural in honor of Cpl. JB Kerns, a local veteran who lost three limbs in an IED explosion during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. Old Glory is on permanent display and is open to the public. Old Glory is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was created with the support of the Wounded Warrior Project, the City of Martinsville and VisitMartinsville. To learn more about public art in Martinsville-Henry County, visit www.PiedmontArts.org.
While exploring Uptown Martinsville, head over to the Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center & Museum. Across from the historic building, you will find an official historic Civil War Trail marker located in the Courthouse Plaza. The marker sits across from the front-side of the former Henry County Courthouse (MHC Heritage Center & Museum). Along with a few pictures, the Martinsville-Henry County Civil War Trail historic marker reads: “Near War’s End Henry Courthouse Engagement.” “Stoneman’s Raid.” On April 8, 1865, one of the last engagements of the Civil War in Virginia took place here when Union Col. William J. Palmer’s brigade of Gen. George Stoneman’s command swept through Henry County. If you are intrigued by the history of this engagement, be sure to stop by the Courthouse Plaza to take a look at the marker and read the full story.
After visiting Uptown Martinsville, make your way to the Bassett Historical Center in the small town of Bassett, VA. The facility is filled to the rim with local history and knowledge. There you’ll find a Vietnam War memorial wall with the names of 345 local Vietnam veterans, 26 of which were KIA, etched in massive blocks of granite. The Tuesday following Veteran’s Day, come out to the BHC and hear Jerry Perdue’s fascinating program about the men and women who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is our nation's highest award for valor in action against an enemy force engaging in war against the United States. Of the over 42 million men and women who have served our nation since the Civil War, only 3,449 have been presented with our country's highest military award.
For more ways on how to spend your Veteran’s Day weekend here in Martinsville-Henry County, got to VisitMartinsville.com, stop by the MHC Visitor Center at 191 Fayette Street Martinsville, VA, or call us at 888.722.3498. We hope to see you here!