On October 5 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center invites the public to its 15th anniversary celebration, Beers and Cheers! This beer and wine tasting is free but a monetary donation is very appreciated!
15 years ago on September 24th the Richard I. Bong Historical Center opened its doors as the Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center. “Although our mission and name have changed slightly, we have always been dedicated to honoring, preserving and interpreting veteran’s stories. Not just from the Twin Ports area but the larger Northland area,” said Hayes Scriven, Center’s Executive Director.
The Center’s mission 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. This year, the Center has had a renewed interest. We have an will be hosting many, some of which even stretch the mission like the World War I trench display that opened earlier this Spring. “We are truly an inclusive veteran’s center,” said Terry Lundberg, Chair of the Center’s board of directors and one of its founding members. Lundberg continues, “It was important for us to get the Center open so we could not only have a place to memorialize one of our nation’s top heroes but all veteran’s stories.”
Since the Center opened it has conducted over 600 oral histories, accessioned over 10,000 items into the collection and 528 tiles memorialize over 2,100 veterans as part of the memorial wall. The Center has hosted many programs, events and exhibits over the years.
“We have big plans for the next few years,” Scriven said. “I want the public to know that they can come to our programs and feel welcome here, veterans have played an important role in the development of this area, people need to know that and be proud of it.”