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Bong Center Collects Gifts for Veterans

Bong Center Collects Gifts for Veterans

In the spirit of the Holiday Season, The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center, the Bong Book Club, Richard I. Bong American Legion Auxiliary, and the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post #435 are once again looking for donations for the Silver Bay (MN) Veterans Home.

The program started 12 years ago to bring some holiday cheer to area veterans. Hope Swenson, Bong Center Volunteer said “The donation program started as an outreach program from the Bong Book Club and has grown from there.” She continues “It has continued to be well received by the community.”

Ward Wallin, Silver Bay Veterans Home Volunteer Program Administrator states, “Each year the residents of the Silver Bay Veterans Home are very grateful for the donations provided by the many volunteers and staff at the Bong Center. We have enjoyed a great working relationship over the years and your dedication to our nation’s heroes has been outstanding.”

Bring donations to the Center by December 18th and place them in the box located in the lobby. The gifts should be unwrapped, and you may include your name on the gift or donate anonymously. Suggested gift items include; shaving and other personal care supplies, blankets, socks, t-shirts, sweatpants, stationery items, stamps, books, magazines, and DVDs.

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

Heroes Tree

Heroes Tree

The Lake Superior Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Richard I Bong American Legion Post #435 and the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center would like to foster community support and involvement as well as promote patriotic literacy for individuals, families, communities and the nation through the Our Heroes Tree.

The Our Heroes Tree program has been hosted by these three organization since 2013. It started as a national movement in 2005 and is now in 34 states and 10 countries. The goal of the tree is to honor military members who have been deployed to overseas combat operation, and to domestic duty stations in support of foreign conflicts and also those deployed in support of national and international relief missions in the aftermath of disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes.

The white lights on the tree are a symbol of those who have lost their lives defending our freedoms, the yellow ribbon is used as a symbol of solidarity with someone who is far from home, and an expression of hope that they will return safely and soon. We encourage you to place a handmade ornament with a picture, name, and military information on the tree and/or write a memoir for placement in the journal about your Veteran, these will be kept and displayed from year to year.

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

November 30-Book talk on the World War I Experiences of Minnesota Brothers Marland and Stanley Williams

November 30-Book talk on the World War I Experiences of Minnesota Brothers Marland and Stanley Williams

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center invites the public to a book talk on the World War I experiences of Minnesota brothers Marland and Stanley Williams on November 30. With Love to All: The World War I Letters and Photographs of Two Minnesota Brothers Marland and Stanley Williams was published by the Goodhue County Historical Society in June 2017. The talk with begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Center.

Assembled and published for the first time, this collection of photographs and letters by the Williams brothers is a compelling and personal narrative of army life during World War I. Upon the United States’ declaration of war in April 1917, seventeen-year-old Marland and his older brother Stanley volunteered for duty. Marland was a bandsman with the 125th Field Artillery of the 34th Sandstorm Division – among the first Minnesota units sent to Camp Cody, New Mexico, for training. His treasure trove of photographs and letters describe every aspect of the 125th F. A. during its nearly year-long training experience and journey to France. Stanley enlisted as a member of the Minnesota 151st Field Artillery, part of the legendary 42nd Rainbow Division. As one of the first units to fight in France. Battalion Sergeant Major Stanley Williamss letters give a glimpse into Rainbow Division’s combat experience as it endured many of the war’s most costly battles.

Book editor Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, granddaughter of Marland Williams, will bring these letters and photographs to life, providing an intimate, inside perspective on these principled and dedicated Minnesota brothers during a momentous period of American history. After the talk, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a copy of With Love to All and have it signed by Ms. Gomoll.

Elizabeth Williams Gomoll is professional genealogist. She is president of the Association of Professional Genealogists Northland Chapter, and co-editor of the Minnesota Genealogist quarterly journal. Liz is also a professional flutist, performing with the Rochester Symphony and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. When weather permits, Liz and her husband Roger find joy in flying their 1928 open cockpit biplane.

Sponsorship for this event provided by the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center and the Goodhue County Historical Society in Red Wing MN along with funding from the Red Wing Shoe Company Foundation.

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center
The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

About the Goodhue County Historical Society
The Goodhue County Historical Society, located in Red Wing, MN, was founded in 1869 as the first county historical society in Minnesota. It operates the Goodhue County History Center, which features 15 separate exhibit spaces, research library, meeting room, and museum store. To learn more about the Goodhue County Historical Society, visit their website at www.goodhuecountyhistory.org.

Northland Field Trip Expo

Northland Field Trip Expo

The Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center has organized a first ever Northland Field Trip Expo that will take place next month on November 16th. The Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center has also invited nine other area organizations to participate to help showcase what the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior have to offer.

“The Northland Field Trip Expo is an outgrowth of our Educator Open House, which the Center has hosted for the last five years,” stated Richard I Bong Historical Center Education and Outreach Coordinator John Gidley.

“We wanted to not only show off what we have to offer, but also what the Twin Ports has for school groups, home schoolers, scout groups, etc.,” said Hayes Scriven who is the Executive Director of the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center.

Both Gidley and Scriven recently attended the Minnesota Field Trip Expo this past summer in St. Paul and were convinced of the need to bring something similar to the Northland. “We were already hosting an open house so just inviting some more organizations to the evening is a natural progression for us,” said Gidley.

Sarah Wilcox, Director of Education for the Lake Superior Zoo felt this was a wonderful opportunity. “The Zoo is looking forward to connecting with educators and other field trip planners at this expo. We have about 150 groups visit us every year but not all of them participate in an education program. We’re excited to tell teachers about our twenty different hands-on animal programs that can reinforce classroom learning.”

The Northland Field Trip Expo will feature Glensheen, Lake Superior Zoo, Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center, Superior Public Museums (S.S. Metor Maritime Museum, Fairlawn Museum, Old Firehouse and Police Musuems), Lake Superior Railroad Museum, The Duluth Depot, The St. Louis County Historical Society, Douglas County Historical Society, Duluth Children’s Museum and Lake Superior Estuarine Research Reserve.

The Northland Field Trip Exop will be November 16 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center, in Superior Wisconsin. There is no cost to attend and all teachers, home school parents, troop leaders and all group tour leaders are invited to attend. For more information on how to register visit bvhcenter.org

Free Community Screening Vietnam-Remembering

Free Community Screening Vietnam-Remembering


They were young, half a world away from home, and at war…
Northland Vietnam Veterans Share Their Personal Stories

The Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center and WDSE•WRPT Public Television are hosting a community screening of the station’s local 2-part documentary Vietnam-Remembering. Following the screening will be an opportunity for sharing and discussion facilitated by producer Juli Kellner and others involved in the project.

The Vietnam War was the most divisive conflict in American history since the Civil War. Even 50 years later, there are still open wounds that require healing. By hearing stories born in the Vietnam War we gain a deeper understanding about its impact on an entire generation and its lessons for today. WDSE•WRPT worked in collaboration with area veteran’s organizations, community partners and the statewide Minnesota Public Television Association to find untold powerful local stories of those impacted by Vietnam War. “It was an honor to sit down with our Vietnam veterans and hear their memories of war. Their interviews are candid and profound, and something we can all learn from.” stated producer Juli Kellner.

Both episodes feature Vietnam veterans from the area including Superior, Duluth, Hibbing and Cloquet. Also included are highlights from the emotional event “The Wall That Heals” visit to Superior’s Barkers Island Festival Park this past summer. Hosted by Halvor Lines, the wall is a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile education center

For more information visit wdse.org or bvhcenter.org. The Free Community Screening of Vietnam-Remembering will be
Thursday, November 9 at 6pm, Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center. The event is free and open to the public.

4th of July

4th of July

We will be open on July 4th our normal business hours. For all of the City of Superior 4th of July events, check out their website