In 2021, the Virginia Beach City Council formally approved the formation of the 5/31 Memorial Committee to guide the permanent memorial planning process and appointed 13 members including families and community representatives.


The Committee began meeting in February 2022 and their work has included:

  • Evaluated locations and reached consensus on future memorial location.
  • Considered design elements and reached consensus on desired components for a future memorial.
  • Maintained active, ongoing engagement with families of those whose lives were lost on 5/31.
  • Solicited community input via in-person, telephonic, and online survey, resulting in feedback from over 500 participants.
  • Provided the following recommendations and next steps to City Council in July 2022:
  • Recommend memorial site location at the corner of Princess Anne Road and Nimmo Parkway, along the boundary of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.
  • Issue Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from multi-disciplinary design teams.
  • Continue Kearns & West facilitation services to the Committee and Family and Survivor Liaison on the memorial planning process


The City hired consulting firm Kearns & West to facilitate the memorial planning process. Kearns & West serves as the family and survivor liaison, facilitates the Memorial Committee, and creates multiple opportunities for the families, survivors, and community to provide input in the memorial planning process.


The goals of the 5/31 Memorial Committee include:

  • creating firm protocols for meeting structure and consensus-building.
  • creating a vision for the memorial.
  • setting project priorities, goals, and building consensus on the design.
  • leading a transparent process open to any interested members of the public or stakeholders.
  • advocating for the families, survivors and community.
  • soliciting input from the stakeholders and public.
  • developing design goals and recommendations on the memorial site, and funding for the memorial using collected input.
  • determining a preferred location for the memorial.
  • providing project budgets and mobilizing funding.
  • soliciting design proposals reviewing proposals, conducting selection process, and making a final recommendation to City Council.
  • overseeing the installation and dedication of memorial.