Students and WWII Vets

Wright Museum to Welcome Veterans

On Oct 17 and 25, the Wright Museum will host residents from the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton. During these visits, NH Veterans Home residents will be taken on a special tour of the museum, enjoy lunch and provided with the opportunity to interact with students from area schools.

It is the third year the museum has held these events, which Executive Director Mike Culver described as “important.”

“This is a chance for everyone visiting the Wright, and those of us who work and volunteer here, to meet these men and women and thank them for their service,” he said.

Culver noted it is also an opportunity for young students to meet “real” heroes, ask questions and hear responses from actual participants in historical events. He said this opportunity is not simply a matter of students learning “some dramatic truth.”

“For young people, it is learning that these veterans are ‘real’ people,” he said. “These are Americans who have the same aspirations, face the same challenges, and have lived a meaningful life – part of which involved serving their country.”

The experience is equally profound for veterans, too, noted Leonard Stuart, program information officer, New Hampshire Veterans Home.

“Viewing the displays at the Wright Museum can be a powerful stimulant to the often-fading memories of the members of the Greatest Generation who make these visits,” he said. “A uniform they wore, a vehicle they drove, a map of an area where they served – almost anything can engender powerful recollections of their time in uniform, which, in turn, promote conversations, energy and engagement.”

According to Culver, the deeper context behind these visits and the museum’s mission is that veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam era are disappearing quickly.

“Soon, students will have only books, museums, documentaries, and pictures–there will be no direct connection to this past,” he said. “That is why the veterans’ annual visits to the Wright is so important and why we all are so proud to have them here.”

Stuart agreed and added, “As memories fade and times change, a lot of people born after 1980 probably can’t find Vietnam on a map, let alone locate some of the remote South Pacific battle scenes of World War II…It’s important to keep reminding the world just how much is owed to those brave warriors.”

At both events, which take place from 10 am to 2 pm on October 17 and 25, students from local and regional high schools will be in attendance.

Unique to traditional WWII museums, the Wright Museum features more than 14,000 items in its collection that are representative of both the home front and battle field.

The Wright Museum of World War II is located in Wolfeboro, NH and open daily to the public for the 2018 season through October 31.