Millions of men and women have left everything they know to seek or preserve freedom for their loved ones, themselves and others. Starting with the pilgrims looking for religious freedom to those still fighting in Middle Eastern countries, the pursuit of freedom is ongoing.
July is Veteran month at the Fayette County Museum. It is not a month to celebrate war, but a month to celebrate those who put on a uniform and swore to protect freedom anywhere in the world.
What does it mean to commit yourself to your country? How do you commit yourself to an idea? How do you hold liberty or the pursuit of happiness in your hands? And yet, we, the United States, have built a way of life from these ideals. Tens of thousands of Americans have answered the call to arms: the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the War of 1812 (1812-1815), the Mexican American War (1846-1848), the Civil War (1861-1865), Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), the Bay of Pigs (1961), the Vietnam War (1961-1973), the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, The Gulf War (1991), Somalia, Bosnia (1994-1995), Kosovo (1999), Afghanistan (2001-2014), Iraq (2003-2010), the Global War on Terrorism (2001 -), and the War Against the Islamic State (2014 -), to protect these intangible but dearly held ideals.
The Fayette County Historical Society Board of Trustees for the museum has declared July Veteran Month. Again, not to celebrate war but to recognize and celebrate the men and women who put their lives on hold to answer that call. There will be veterans at the museum during the month of July. We encourage you to wander in and chat with these men and women about what it was like to leave all they knew to fight for our freedoms.
This weekend, Paul LaRue will be at the museum to share with the public his efforts to impact the legislation that will not allow local entities, such as high school students, to apply for headstones for veterans of wars. You may remember while LaRue was teaching history at Washington Senior High School, many of his students identified and secured headstones for a number of Civil War veterans not only in Fayette County but in Highland County as well. LaRue will be bringing some of his slides showing the work involved in locating and in placing veteran headstones. He will also have information on who to contact to secure reversal of the legislation regarding headstones.
If you are a veteran and would like to join other veterans at the museum please feel free to come on in. The museum will be open on July 11, 12, 18, 27 and the 28 from 1 a.m. until 4 p.m. The trustees encourage all Fayette County citizens to visit the museum in July.
There is no charge to visit or tour the museum. It is the largest repository of Fayette County history and artifacts in the county. If you would like further information about the July exhibit, or information regarding the museum, please call the office at 740-335-2953, leave a message and a trustee will return your call.