Thursday, February 24, 2022

Reviewing a Veterans Museum

 

Scenes from Front of Museum

 
In early February of 2022, I had the privilege of visiting the St. Charles County Veterans Museum with a group of people from the Willows Way photography club where I am a photography mentor.  This museum is just over two years old and I had never visited before. I was in for a wonderful surprise.  The museum was a delight with lots of memorabilia and stories of veterans from World War I through the present day.  

The volunteers who worked at the museum were wonderful and really made our whole experience very inspirational.  They gave us time to explore on our own, but were always available to answer questions and tell the stories of the veterans that were featured at the museum.

On this post I will share with you some of the photos I took in the museum and also give your more information about the museum which I gathered from their website St. Charles County Veterans Museum

World War I Era Uniforms



After you enter the museum the first display you see is from World War I.  Here are some of the uniforms from the display.

Mission of the Museum

Plans for a museum that honored all of the veterans from the area was a dream of Ralph Barrale (1924-2018) a veteran of World War II.  He was able to get the location secured and the dream was becoming a reality when he passed on in 2018.  Unfortunately he was unable to see the actual opening in 2019.

Here is the stated mission of the museum. 
" Inspiring, informing and engaging the residents
of St. Charles County to honor the memories of County Veterans who served the United State of America with patriotic valor."

Korean War


There was a section of memorabila from the Korean War and several stories of county residents who had served there.  One of this heroes was a volunteer on the day that we visited and was very knowledgable about that era.

Telling the Veterans Stories

The museum is in the process of developing a program where high school students interview veterans to find out their stories.  The program is called "Interview our Heroes- Our Military Veterans."  The goal of the program is to unite generations and tell the stories of veterans.  The interviews will be on video and will be put on the museum's website along with being sent to the Library of Congress in Washington D. C..  This sounds like a wonderful program and I am looking forward to seeing these interviews on the website and on future visits to the museum.

Vietnam Era Memorabilia

Several stories have been collected  from Vietnam veterans.  Here is some of the memorabilia that is in the museum from that era.

World War II

There is an entire room devoted to the World War II veterans.  It includes uniforms, models, and a tent from the era.  Here are some of the photos I took in that room.







Paintings

There were some beautifully done paintings hanging in the museum.  This one was done by a local artist and depicts women in the military.

Wall Honoring Residents who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice


In closing I would like to encourage you to visit a Veterans Museum.  It is a very moving experience.  If you are in the St. Louis/St. Charles area or traveling through please stop at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.  It is located at 410 E Elm St in O'Fallon, Mo.

If this location does not work for you, I encourage you to look for a veterans museum near you to visit.






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11 comments:

  1. Wonderful, Mary Beth. I will definitely plan to stop at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum next time I visit my daughter in St. Louis. When we lived in Savannah, Georgia, hubby Bob was a volunteer at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force both before and after it opened in 1996, first helping catalogue donations and then serving as a guide. We are very much fans of Veterans Museums.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Elf, I am sure you will find this museum very worthwhile.

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  2. Oh Mary Beth, what a wonderful visit you must have had. I can remember going to the Memorial in Hawaii honoring those who fell on that fateful day when the Japanese bombed the harbor. I was moved beyond all telling and the visit still haunts me. Thank God I have not witnessed war first hand, but my heart goes out to all those who have and especially the ones who never came back. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Olivia, it certainly was a great visit...very moving to hear all the stories of the local veterans.

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  3. We enjoy visiting museums. It always amazes me that they have authentic uniforms available for display. Any war memorabilia has an emotional affect, but it also makes me grateful to the soldiers who fought. I was sorry to read that the founder of this museum did not live to see opening day, but how very awesome that he knew it was going to happen. I was recently in St. Louis and visiting a different museum. I'll have to make sure we see the Veteran's Museum on our next visit.

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    Replies
    1. Cynthia If you do ever go to the Veterans Museum, please let me know. I live just a few miles away and would love to meet you.

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    2. Will do Mary Beth! I almost emailed you when we were there to meet us at the aircraft museum. We had limited time on that trip. Hopefully, we will be more flexible on our next visit.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your visit to this wonderful veteran's museum, Mary Beth, and for sharing your photos to give us a better taste of what's inside. My father was a WW II vet who rarely was willing to speak about his harrowing experiences during the war, and I would love the chance to visit a veteran's museum. Thanks to your excellent review, I plan to start researching veterans' museums that are within driving distance for us. Thank you!

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  5. Glad you enjoyed the review I hope you can find one near you

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  6. I love anything to do with history and would visit this place in a minute. Fran and I were touring Lighthouses here in Western New York, along Lake Erie. I believe it was the Dunkirk Lighthouse that had a Veterans Museum. Not as big as the one you toured but it was very interesting. Thanks for the tour.

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  7. Such a fantastic idea to set up a place where veterans can be interviewed by high school students; that's how history should be taught when possible.

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