Wednesday, March 7, 2012

“World War II Through a Soldier’s Eye" by Diana Phalon

After interning at the Eldred World War II Museum for over a year and building one exhibit there, I thought it would be interesting to bring an exhibit to the Quick Center for the Arts here at St. Bonaventure to educate high school students and those who might have an interest in the war. After discussing it with my advisor, Dr. Payne, and Steve Appleby, the director of the Eldred WWII Museum, I decided I would pursue this idea for my Honors Capstone Project.

The goal is to make history more fun and even more interesting and personal to those studying it. The exhibit is titled “World War II Through a Soldier’s Eye.” Essentially, it is an exhibit to educate people about the European Front of World War II, but the idea is to do it on a more personal level. Instead of just offering facts, dates, and battles, the exhibit focuses more on the personal stories of veterans from the war and uses different artifacts donated by the Eldred World War II Museum.

I’ve always been interested in history, especially World War I and World War II. I just find the time period interesting, and when I found out that both my grandfather and great-uncle had been part of World War II, I was suddenly desperate to learn everything I could about their experiences. While I had little access to my great-uncles effects, there were piles and piles of things from my grandfather’s things. Pictures, letters, and postcards were just the start, and I had a great time going through all of them, with the help of my parents and my aunt. I thought to myself just how interesting all of these things were, and I knew there were many stories like my grandfather’s just waiting to be told.

After going through the hundreds of personal stories found at the Eldred WWII Museum, I selected a few and worked on them to be a part of the exhibit. Using personal effects, other artifacts, and background information, I put together a small gallery as a tribute to the brave men and women who served our country so proudly during that time period.

The exhibit opens on March 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm on the first floor of the Quick Arts Center. It will stay at the Center for about a month.

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