I really can’t believe that it is November already; as usual this has been a very busy month for the Alabama Veterans Museum! As this is the month for thankfulness, I wanted to take this time to say “Thank You” to each and every one of you for your support this year. Without the support of the Limestone County Commission, the City of Athens, the Limestone County Delegation, and of course the community, we could not do what we do to honor our veterans.
I would like to thank my wonderful volunteers; the museum really could not function without them. I hesitate to list them because I am afraid I will leave someone out, but here goes; our faithful volunteers are: Ed Adams, Jerry Barksdale, Johnny Beck, Tyre Benefield, Price Boyd, Anne Crutcher, Mike Criscillis, Yvonne Dempsey, Ralph Green, Anthony Lindner, Sal Ragona, Bill Scheuler, Ewell Smith, Julia Smith, and Jim Watson. We have a sign in our breakroom that I read daily which says “Volunteers are not paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” No statement could be truer! If you would like to join this awesome team, come on down to the museum because we are always looking for new volunteers.
I would also like to thank Steve Hornberger, who takes care of the office, Teddy Dutton and Ron Thrift, who take care of the building and our visitors. These guys always go the extra mile for me, whether it be getting here at “0 dark thirty” the first Saturday of every month for Coffee Call or setting up for an Elvis show, they work tirelessly. Thank you to our sponsors for Coffee Call; we literally could not do it without them each month.
And last, but certainly not least I want to say a big “Thank you” to my Board of Directors. I would like to give a special shout out to our board president, Jerry Crabtree. I always know I can count on Jerry for support! No matter what crazy event we come up with, he is always there to do the introduction and to work to ensure it is a success! I could not do what I do without the support of each and every one of you!
Now, a little bit about who we are and why we do what we do every day. The vision of the Alabama Veterans Museum is to keep our military history alive for the education and enjoyment of the public. What makes our museum different and unique is that everything we have has been donated and each piece has a story behind it. We have artifacts from the Revolutionary War until present day. Most of our tour guides are veterans so you get the stories from the people who were actually living it.
The role of our museum is not only to entertain, but to educate. Last year we had over 10,000 visitors, over half of them children. We want to convey the incredible sacrifices and intensity of a world at war. Everyone should learn that our freedom is not free… it was bought by men and women, many of whom paid the supreme sacrifice. Throughout history and even today, ordinary individuals have given their life for this country; we owe these individuals a debt that can never be repaid.
“Thank you for your service.”
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans' Museum