Veterans' Memorial Hall: Saving History

Updated: 05/15/2014 6:48 AM
Created: 05/14/2014 3:27 PM

"Veterans' Memorial Hall is going through, in my words, an identity crisis," said John Werner. "People want to support veterans, but they don't know where we are." He's a Veterans' Memorial Hall advisory committee member.

The hall is actually at the Depot in Duluth. It's part of the St. Louis County Historical Society. You can see a gallery set up of exhibits honoring our veterans, right next to the Great Hall in the Depot.

This all started back in 1882, when a group of Civil War veterans formed a strong bond. "This was the original band of brothers," explained Werner.

Some of the original furniture from the Grand Army of the Republic, which was the formal name of the union army, still sits in the historical society offices.

Inside the Albert J. Amatuzio archives, is 8,000 pieces of history. "Veterans bring us their keepsakes, and frankly we're very honored to receive them," explained collections manager Milissa Brooks-Ojibway.

Each piece is documented in the computer, so if anyone in the public wants to do research about a veteran, they can come and see what's available about him or her. "We're always collecting more," said Brooks-Ojibway. 

They're working on updating the exhibits, but it's not easy, since the hall is facing a budget crunch. So Werner said they've been proactively trying to raise money and awareness.

They've got their first 5K coming up on Saturday, May 17th, at 9am. The location is the Twig Bakery, which is at 3930 E Calvary Road in Duluth.

"The running community has a rich heritage as well," Werner explained. He runs in several area 5Ks, and thought this would be a good idea to spread the word.

If you want to run:

The hall is working on acquiring artifacts from the U.S.S. Duluth, which will then be featured in one of the navy windows at the hall.

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