Work slowly progressing on a museum for veterans memorabilia, artifacts
Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank is seeking help from people interested in participating in a planning group to organize a free, monthly breakfast for all Anderson County veterans—from the cities to the rural areas. A meeting has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. February 2 in Room 118A at the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton. All interested citizens are invited to help develop plans. No military service background is required.
In 2014, Frank traveled with local World War II veteran William Ward and Anderson County’s Veteran Service Officer Leon Jaquet to visit the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives in Athens, Alabama. Frank, Ward, and Jaquet were given a tour by William Ward’s son and veteran, Billy Ward. Billy Ward serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Veterans Museum. Frank and Jaquet also met with organizers of the Alabama Museum, as well as the museum’s director Sandra Thompson.
“I was inspired by the Museum and also the breakfast I attended in Alabama,” Frank said.
“Veterans of all branches and age groups gather to spend time together and also hear from a guest speaker or enjoy special music, or get updates on veteran issues,” she said. “In Alabama, different businesses or individuals sponsor the free breakfast each month—and I know we have a community here in the county that honors and appreciates our veterans enough to pitch in for a similar monthly event here. I would love to see that kind of honoring, respect, and dedicated time together here, in Anderson County.
“There are so many veterans groups in Anderson County who work so hard—this is our chance as a community to do something for them,” Frank said.
“The museum is an incredible place, and there is a real desire to have such a place here in our county to preserve the memories and artifacts of the veterans who live here,” she said. “We’re slowly networking on how to create or perhaps partner with other organizations or museums to create such a place that will serve as a permanent resting place for artifacts and memorabilia. While we continue that work to make Mr. Ward’s dream of a place where children can visit and learn a reality, I want to immediately dive in and start a monthly free breakfast honoring our veterans.”
Frank has committed to sponsoring the first breakfast.
The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives, is located in the old L&N Freight Depot in Athens, and was the brainchild of the late Limestone County, Alabama, Veterans Service Officer Kenneth David. After collecting artifacts for an exhibit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995, David still had many artifacts left after the exhibit closed that contributors didn’t retrieve. He wanted a permanent place to display the artifacts to honor the brave men and women from the Civil War to the present who fought and died to keep our land free.
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