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History Center honors military heroes

Weekend events pay homage to local war vets for Veterans Day

POSTED: November 10, 2011 12:30 a.m.

For the second year in a row, The Northeast Georgia History Center is making sure veterans get the recognition they deserve.

Beginning today through Sunday, the center at 322 Academy Street NE, Gainesville, will play host to several specially themed events and exhibits.

"We've always done a small reception for veterans on Veterans Day, but we'd never done anything extensive before last year," said Julie Carson, history center education and volunteer coordinator.

"We wanted to do something larger to honor all that they've done."

The center's tribute includes veterans' exhibits in its rotunda, galleries and founder's hall. The exhibit features memorabilia, artifacts, models and art from World War I to present day.

"The exhibits are a conglomeration of (loaned or donated) pieces," Carson said.

"One of our members is an avid collector, and he has some really amazing stuff. We also have a lot of members, who are veterans of World War II, and they donated or loaned us some things, too. We have been very blessed."

The center will also showcase an exhibit on the Vietnam War through the end of this month. According to Carson, the majority of those materials came from a local, veterans' group.

All of the exhibits have proven to be very popular with local students.

"So far, we've had about 370 kids come through to tour the exhibits, and we have another 130 who are scheduled to come this week," Carson said.

In addition to seeing history, the center's staff have also arranged opportunities for visitors to interact. Various veterans have volunteered to be available during museum hours to talk with visitors about their experiences.

On Veterans Day, the center will waive the admission fee for veterans, active duty military personnel and their families.

The museum will conclude the tribute with a "Salute to Veterans and Their Families" event from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

Because it is also the center's Family Day, everyone will receive free admission.

"We will have veterans here for families to visit with, plus the usual hands-on activities," Carson said.

"One of the things we'll be doing is providing stationary and cards for children and families to write letters and thank you notes to active-duty military members. We'll also have boxes out to collect any personal care items that people would like to donate to deployed troops."

Children will also be able to lend their handprints to create the stripes on an oversized flag that the center will later donate to a local military company.

The Northeast Georgia History Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is normally closed on Sundays, but will be open this week for Family Day.



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