Mobile WWI Museum keeps the history alive with display of historical artifacts
Museum is displayed at Joplin Library
JOPLIN, Mo. — Community members can now take a walk-through history at the largest mobile WWI museum. The exhibit displays a collection of historical artifacts and stories untold, it is a display that left substitute teacher, Patricia Spencer, in awe.
“I’m totally impressed with everything that’s here, it’s just really impressive and I love history anyway so, this has been a great day for me.”
After going through the exhibit, Spencer left with a fresh perspective on history.
“The past is important because it indicates a lot of the present and future and what we wish for tomorrow, we don’t want a world war 3 for example. It’s also pride in your country and history is really important, it’s our heritage, it’s all of us actually.”
The creator of the museum, Keith Colley, started collecting WWI artifacts 4 years ago after an encounter with a WWII veteran.
“I went onto eBay and I found this shovel, this shovel for me represented the whole war because it was a war fought in the trenches that were dug by hand with a shovel. So, when I took that shovel and I placed it in that gentleman’s hands the tears started flowing, but the stories really started flowing.”
Colley has been traveling the country for years now with his museum, keeping the history alive.
“We made a promise 100 years ago that we wouldn’t forget the soldiers that made sacrifices and ultimately many of them lost their lives. Life happens, other wars happened, WWI had to take a back burner. 100 years later it’s time to give it the remembrance that it’s due and that’s why we call it ‘less we forget’.”
He’s hoping to get the museum in as many senior facilities and school districts as possible so that it can help the older generations to remember but also to educate the younger generations to never forget.
“You’ll be able to go back in time and give thanks to the guys that have made us have our freedom today.”
The museum will remain open until Friday, September 13th. A closing reception will take place Thursday, September 12th from 6 to 7:30 P.M.
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