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McDonough, GA 30253
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New and Improved Military Museum Opens at Heritage Park

New and Improved Military Museum Opens at Heritage Park
Mr. Jim Rischer stands next to the flight suit of his father, James Rischer, a Colonel in the United States Air Force during WWII. Col. Rischer flew more than 30 successful combat missions over Germany during the second world war.

Henry County’s new and improved Historical Military Museum officially opened on Veterans Day.  Located inside the iconic red barn, the facility was originally intended to be a museum to preserve Henry County’s agrarian roots, housing everything from farm implements to a Model T car.  But a few months ago, county officials had an epiphany and decided to move the items displayed in the Heritage Museum out into the various buildings in the village,  making them look and feel more realistic.  The one room school house that once stood in Ola is now filled with desks.  The log cabin looks lived in, and the general store now looks like a general store, right down to the signs advertising cold Coca- Colas.
Rearranging the accouterments of that museum into those individual “living history exhibits” left the Barn Museum wide open to be transformed into the Historical Military Museum.  The families of local veterans have generously donated a treasure trove of history.  Everything tells a story, from the array of uniforms, some of which date back to World War I, to the rations, equipment and supplies, and all ofit is displayed to give the public a true sense of the life of a soldier.  There is even a diorama depicting a realistic scene, with plans for more in the future.
Additionally, some special pieces are powerful reminders of the millions of people left stateside, anxiously awaiting the safe return of their loved ones.  One such example is a handknit sweater that is just one of hundreds knit with love by a woman in her 70s that were shipped overseas to soldiers during World War II to show them that people back at home were thinking of them.
Both the village and museum sit just a stone’s throw from the Veterans Wall of Honor, an 80-foot long granite monument depicting battle scenes and famous quotations that honor the bravery and sacrifices of the United States Veterans.  This co-location is one of the main reasons the Historical Military Museum was moved from its original home at Nash Farm Park.
“With the recent upgrades of the Nash Farm Battlefield, and the advent of an interactive welcome center for the battlefield, we chose to move the museum here to the barn,” explained Jim Joyce, Henry County Parks & Recreation Facility Coordinator.  “Being in close proximity to the Veterans Wall, will bring in more people to view the museum because they come here for the wall already.”
The museum will be open regular hours to make sure everyone has an opportunity to see it.  Beginning December 1, the museum will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. whenever County offices are also open.  Heritage Park is located at 101 Lake Dow Road, just off Highway 81 East in McDonough.  For more information about Heritage Village, or the museum, please visit www.hcprd.org.  To learn more about the Veterans Wall of Honor, please visit www.veteranswallofhonor.org.

New and Improved Military Museum Opens at Heritage Park
The new counter display at Lane's General Store in the historic Heritage Village helps bring history to life.

New and Improved Military Museum Opens at Heritage Park
Medical Supplies on Display at the Veterans Historical Museum.

New and Improved Military Museum Opens at Heritage Park
Laura Luker, Director of the Henry County Convention & Visitors Bureau, looks at one of the uniform display cases in the museum.

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