Honoring our local World War I Veterans and their Families:
An exhibit which ran from Fall 2014 through Spring 2015
“The Great War” also called “The War to End all Wars” started in Europe in 1914 and ended in 1919. Many men and women, volunteered and served in the military or took on “war roles” on the Homefront.
One of the most moving exhibits were the two “Wall of Honor” three sided columns, which featured a few local WW I Veterans
Displayed were family photos and our Veterans stories supplemented
Artwork, the poem In Flanders Fields and other objects are flanked by the two “Walls of Honor”
Displayed on a table, under glass were stories on how wars impact families:
Loaned from Morgan Park Military Academy was a letter from a fellow service member to the family of a
student who died in the war. It brought tears to our eyes.
There was the story of a soldier who fought on the German side in WW I but then fled his native country to the United States
when Adolph Hitler came to power in the 1930’s, along with his parents and other family members.
Also told was the story of a young soldier, who was also a Russian immigrant to the United States,
who entered the war with one name and left with another.
Even 100 years later, local plaques honoring Veterans of The Great War and lists of trees planted in honor
of the Veterans of the Great War still exist in our neighborhood.
The United States did not enter
But the period between 1914
Couples rushed to marry before
Featured were a 1914 era wedding dress and her “Fly-Boy or Flying-Ace” of the Army Air Corp.
On “The Home Front: This exhibit featured Red Cross uniforms and
Local Men served in the US Navy,
The horror of “Life in the Trenches”, where so
many died or suffered horrendous injuries,
was explained with
charts and maps and photographs.
A 48 star flag hung over a display of objects from our Veterans and their Families with accompanying labels and explanations; for example Army Air Corp leather cap, gas mask, goggles and flying mittens. Service Banners once displayed in local homes.
Filling the display cabinets was an easy task which took only a few hours because this exhibit was the direct result of 2013 inventory of military documents, artwork, photographs, books, clothing and objects. The Collections Volunteers had photographed items, assigned Accession Numbers and described, often in great detail the use and relationship the item had in The Great War. The items were then repacked into archival, dust-proof boxes or garment bags with photo images attached to the boxes so the boxes’ content could be viewed without opening the lid. Actually, we spent more time typing the Exhibit Labels.
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