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History Center honors veterans

by Olivia
Sat, Oct 22nd 2011 07:00 am
Volunteers at the Historical Center's military exhibit.
Volunteers at the Historical Center's military exhibit.

The History Center of the Niagara County Historical Society celebrates and honors all veterans with a new exhibit called, "Veteran's Day 11/11/11 - Never Before, Never Again."

The changing exhibit room, open during October and November at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, features artifacts from the veterans of the Civil War, War of 1812, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Desert Storm and more current engagements.

Among the displays is a Civil War newspaper from Vicksburg, Miss., which chronicles the last issue before Gen. Grant enters town, and is printed on wallpaper, as were many Civil War publications due to the shortage of newsprint. A German armband and helmet recall the booty brought home by soldiers and sailors. A Civil War uniform cradles a battered bugle, its last call stilled. And uniforms from all wars circle the walls.

Civil Defense artifacts fill one case, including a tin of biscuits (hopefully still fresh), meant for underground air raid shelters.

Whether you call this day Armistice Day, Poppy Day or just Veterans Day, the History Center's own veteran exhibit planners, Joan Barry and Donna Campbell, have mounted a retrospective of what is most remembered of the sacrifice made by America's sons and daughters. The talent of these volunteers is also evident in the meeting room at the History Center with their new exhibit, "Search and Rescue." This exhibit includes a bomber pilot's shearling jacket, helmet, gloves and pants as he prepared to fly above the clouds in below zero temperatures with no heating; examples of the women who flew Western New York's fighter planes to their remote bases; the silk map of the Himalayas for the airmen who might crash there and the stories of their air rescue crews.

The History Center invites all World War II aircrews and the men and women of the local airplane industries to share their stories. Just call 434-7433, or stop by to visit the free, public exhibits, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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