Groundbreaking for the Woodrow Wilson General Hospital was June 26, 1942. The hospital was named after Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States and a native of the neighboring city of Staunton. The federal government acquired 652 acres of land encircling this monument from private landowners.
About 135 single story brick buildings, with 2.5 miles of sheltered walkways, served as a military hospital caring for the sick, injured, and wounded World War II soldiers. Soldiers returned to the U.S. by ship to Norfolk, Virginia, and then traveled by train to the nearby village of Fishersville where they were transported by ambulance to the hospital. From the time the first patients arrived in June of 1943 until the spring of 1946, more than 4,000 soldiers were cared for on these grounds. The hospital also provided rehabilitation services for disabled soldiers, enabling them to return home and lead productive lives.
After the war, the property was declared surplus and repurposed with the dual vision of rehabilitation and education. Half the site became the first state-owned and operated comprehensive rehabilitation facility in the nation, known today as the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center. The other portion, under the auspices of the Augusta County School System, now includes Wilson Memorial
High School, Wilson Middle and Elementary Schools, Valley Career and Technical Center, and other local government facilities. Most of the original structures were demolished during the 1960s and 1970s.
This monument honors the soldiers cared for at the Woodrow Wilson General Hospital and the members of the military and civilian communities who treated and cared for them. May we never forget our soldiers and the courageous sacrifices they render to safeguard our freedoms in the greatest nation ever, these United States of America.
Dedicated on Memorial Day
May 30, 2016