National Guard August 2011 : Page 64
Design Minds Another Chapter By Ron Jensen A m aj or re d es ign w i ll e nab le th e Nati o na l Gua r d M emor ia l Mu se u m t o t ell more o f th e c u rre nt Gua r d s t ory HE NATIONAL GUARD Memorial Museum is about to undergo its largest renova-tion since it opened in 2003. About $250,000 will be spent to create the 9/11 Era Gallery, which will tell the Guard story since the attack on America nearly 10 years ago. Included will be not only the Guard’s role on 9/11 as ﬁrst respond-ers and its involvement in the subse-T | quent war on terrorism overseas, but also the force’s domestic missions, such as the response to Hurricane Ka-trina in 2005, and other efforts, like the State Partnership Program. “It is telling the story of the tremen-dous amount of effort that has been asked of the Guard,” says Luke Guth-rie, the NGAUS director of develop-ment and membership services. The theme of the gallery, he says, will be: “On 9/11, the world changed … The National Guard changed.” Cathleen Pearl, the deputy direc-tor of the National Guard Educational Foundation, says, “The word would be transformation—the transformation of the Guard since 9/11. We want the gallery to reﬂect not just conﬂict, but the real breadth and scope of what the Guard does around the world.” The gallery is the logical progres-sion of the Guard’s history on display in the museum, from the First Muster in 1637 through the Cold War’s end. The gallery will be designed to honor the Guardsmen who have served their country in so many ways, but it also will educate the general 64 Na tional Guard
A major redesign will enable the National Guard Memorial Museum to tell more of the current Guard story
HE NATIONAL GUARD Memorial Museum is about to undergo its largest renovation since it opened in 2003.
About $250,000 will be spent to create the 9/11 Era Gallery, which will tell the Guard story since the attack on America nearly 10 years ago.
Included will be not only the Guard's role on 9/11 as first responders and its involvement in the subsequent war on terrorism overseas, but also the force's domestic missions, such as the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and other efforts, like the State Partnership Program.
"It is telling the story of the tremendous amount of effort that has been asked of the Guard," says Luke Guthrie, the NGAUS director of development and membership services.
The theme of the gallery, he says, will be: "On 9/11, the world changed . . . The National Guard changed."
Cathleen Pearl, the deputy director of the National Guard Educational Foundation, says, "The word would be transformation–the transformation of the Guard since 9/11. We want the gallery to reflect not just conflict, but the real breadth and scope of what the Guard does around the world." The gallery is the logical progression of the Guard's history on display in the museum, from the First Muster in 1637 through the Cold War's end.
The gallery will be designed to honor the Guardsmen who have served their country in so many ways, but it also will educate the general public about the efforts of their neighbors, co-workers and family members.
"A key component will be a memorial to the Guardsmen who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terrorism," says Guthrie.
The names of those who have been killed in the line of duty will be inscribed on the memorial, which also will include steel from the World Trade Center that has been donated to the NGEF by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The concept design for the gallery has been completed. It will take over the final two rooms of the current museum, including a small exhibit opened in 2005 that is dedicated to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"In order to make this happen, we've gone out and raised new charitable monies," says Guthrie. "Hundreds of individuals and corporations have stepped up."
Work will begin soon on the project that will take several months.
Pearl is now collecting artifacts to tell the story of the post-9/11 Guard.
"At 1,000-square feet, we can't be encyclopedic," she says of the space, but there is room to represent the many tasks undertaken by the Guard around the country and the globe.
For example, she plans to equip a mannequin with all of the assorted gear a combat soldier carries in a war zone, from night-vision goggles to a flak vest to a first-aid kit. Many visitors may not have any idea how loaded down a soldier must be to operate in a hostile area, she says.
But she wants the gallery to be about more than the combat role of the Guard. The State Partnership Program and the unique agribusiness development teams will be featured.
"Both of those reflect the best of the Guard," she says.
A Polish tea set given as a gift to the Illinois adjutant general, Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart Jr., will help represent the more than 60 partnerships between states and nations around the world.
Pearl says the agriculture teams will be represented by a beekeeper's mask which was used by a Guardsman in Afghanistan to help a village establish a hive of bees to produce honey and by an apple crate that was part of a commercial venture in another village.
Such simple items can make terrific museum displays, Pearl says. She hopes to receive other pieces to reflect the medical evacuation mission of the Guard, as well as its engineering work, civil affairs mission and the assorted other jobs.
"It may seem mundane to them. It's what they use every day," Pearl says. "But to someone not in that line of work, it's really interesting to see."
Pearl notes that the artifacts and the gallery can have benefits beyond education of the public and honor for the Guard.
The museum is located in the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters, just a couple blocks from Capitol Hill.
"We get people in this building who can make things happen for the Guard," she says.
Ron Jensen can be contacted at (202) 408-5885 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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