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Besser Museum asking public to lend Korean War relics for upcoming exhibit

February 15, 2012
By DIANE SPEER - News Lifestyles Editor , The Alpena News

The Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan is looking for some assistance from Korean War veterans and their families.

In conjunction with this summer's Wings Over Alpena air show, the museum is planning an exhibit to honor veterans of the Korean War. To make the exhibit representative of the people of Northeast Michigan, museum staff is asking the public to lend their war-related relics for the exhibit that is scheduled to run May 5-Aug. 25.

Two years ago, the museum did a similar exhibit that celebrated World War II veterans. A total of 84 local residents loaned more than 1,500 artifacts that resulted in one of the most popular exhibits ever displayed at the Besser Museum.

Article Photos

News Photo by Diane Speer
Besser Museum Facilities and Exhibits Manager Randy Shultz shows off several of the items that already have been loaned for the upcoming Korean War Tribute Exhibit set to open May 5.

"The museum is very proud to present the Korean War Tribute Exhibit," said Facilities and Exhibits Manager Randy Shultz. "I want to use the same collection format as I used in the World War II exhibit. I want this exhibit to be like the past one for Alpena, by Alpena."

Shultz is once again reaching out to the community and seeking their generosity in loaning Korean War artifacts to be used in the exhibit. Already he has received some items, but still needs many more to make the exhibit complete.

"I invite all Korean War veterans to stop in and say hello," Shultz said. "Hopefully some of them will be willing to loan us an item and share a story to help us better understand what this war was all about. As with all of our past wars and conflicts, the history seems to be fading quickly."

Fact Box

Wish List Items

  • Uniforms
  • Medals
  • Photos
  • Weapons
  • Personal Souvenirs

Included on the wish list of items being sought are uniforms, medals, photos, weapons, personal souvenirs and any Korean War period artifacts.

The Korean Conflict took place from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. According to data from the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States suffered 33,686 battle deaths, along with 2,830 non-battle deaths and 8,176 missing in action during the Korean War.

Stories shared to date with Shultz have indicated that this war did not receive the attention of past conflicts, perhaps in part because it was a shorter war.

"Even short wars produce casualties and hardships that must be remembered," Shultz said. "It is my hope to try and bring these numbers and statistics to life."

The Wings Over Alpena air show is scheduled for Aug. 18 and will also be doing a salute to the Korean War.

Anyone with items or stories to share for the exhibit is asked to contact Shultz at 356-2202 or simply stop by the museum.



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