The national Memorial built in honor of women vets, will this weekend mark its 20Th Anniversary. Formally known as the Women in Military Service American Memorial, and located in Arlington, Virginia, a series of events have been organized all weekend to mark the anniversary, according to Fox News.

Established in 1997 and the only one of its kind in the US, the memorial honors all the women who served in the US military through the different ages, in various wars, and in every capacity.

The memorial which occupies 33,000 square feet, also doubles up as a museum and hosts an education center, a photo gallery that captures the history behind US servicewomen, and various exhibits and artifacts such as weapons and uniforms that were used and worn, by different military women.

Series of events

As the women vets memorial celebrates 20 years, organizers have lined up a series of events for the public all weekend, meant to inform, educate and entertain those who will attend.

One of the star attractions will be Rosemary Bryant Mariner, 64, who is a retired Navy Captain and one of the first women to earn her wings as a US Naval Aviator, way back in 1974. Mariner is currently a resident scholar at the University of Tennessee, at the Center for the Study of War and Society.

She was also the first female to command an operational aviation squadron and deployed overseas. She retired after 24 years in the military.

Women and the US military

Speaking to Fox News, Mariner said that at the time, she thought many doors would open for women in the military, but the process had been slow and things stalled along the way for women who wished to serve.

In the past, women were restricted in many ways when it came to military service. It was only until 2016, when the serving Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, lifted all restrictions that were in place curtailing women.

This meant that women could now serve in any position and branch of the US military. This included, but not limited to, as special operation forces or even in combat.

Registering women vets

According to the memorial's records, a total of three million women have served in the US military over the years, but only 269,000 are registered by the memorial, which is a non-profit foundation.

Marilla Cushman, a 25-year vet, encouraged women who served to come forward and register and claim their rightful spot in history.

Cushman also requested members of the public to turn up in large numbers this weekend, to learn more about women in the military, and tour the memorial.