TERRE HAUTE —
Displays inside a Terre Haute museum tell stories of war, courage, family and sacrifice.
Veterans Memorial Museum of Terre Haute founder Brian Mundell on Friday spoke enthusiastically about the growth of the museum, which is dedicated to all veterans of the United States.
The Veterans Memorial Museum of Terre Haute is located at 1129 Wabash Ave. in downtown Terre Haute. It is open 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. today, Veterans Day.
Opened almost exactly a year ago on Veterans Day 2012, the museum has doubled in size thanks to the increase of military memorabilia donated by area veterans and their families.
Last year, Mundell estimated the museum’s size at about 1,100 square feet. But an entire back room of comparable size has since been added.
There have been more than 200 military items added to the collection since the museum opened, Mundell said.
And one of the newer displays tells the story a family’s intergenerational military legacy.
The display, located near the entrance to the museum, consists of uniforms and medals that belonged to Wabash Valley resident Charles Hord Ray and his family. Ray was a Marine who served in World War II. His father served in World War I, and Ray’s son served in the Vietnam War, Mundell said.
The uniforms of the three men, representing three armed conflicts, were on display together.
Mundell was very excited about this new addition because he previously had father-son displays but this is the first father-son-grandfather (three generations) display at the museum.
Also included in the Ray family display are pictures and Purple Hearts of two of Ray’s other relatives, one of whom served in the Civil War, Mundell said.
Mundell also showed a display of uniforms from another military family. This time, a husband and wife.
The uniforms of local residents Bill and Betty Dodson, who both served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, are available for viewing.
The family display included two of Betty Dodson’s uniforms.
Mundell said he was thrilled when they “called me out of the blue.”
“It’s really nice of them to donate those,” Mundell said, particularly of Betty’s uniforms.
The women’s items are “hard to get,” he said. “It’s always a thrill for me to get the items straight from the veterans” and to know the history behind the items. But a lot of the items are also donated by children and other relatives of veterans.
Also on display are military uniforms of other well-known area individuals, including former Terre Haute North Vigo High School principal Carl S. Riddle, who served in WWII and Korean War.
New additions also include two paintings by a German prisoner, donated by Captain John T. Craig, a veteran who was in charge of a German prisoner of war camp during WWII. Other items he donated are two of his own uniforms (one of which was made by a German prisoner), and a belt buckle that once belonged to a German soldier.
“He’s very proud of his military history and wanted people to see it,” Mundell said.
And he is happy to receive the items.
“It’s nice to be able to honor” these veterans, said Mundell, whose passion for collecting military memorabilia created the museum. “It’s nice to get their items and display it. I feel like we’re trying to preserve this history for future generations.”
Inside the museum, there were also, helmets, radio equipment, maps, banners, pictures, old newspapers and even a tent.
Displays are in chronological order ,starting with WWI and moving on to more recent conflicts.
Mundell said he is seeking more military memorabilia from the Korean War and Vietnam War.
Korean War was called the forgotten war, Mundell said. He did not want visitors to think that he’s “forgotten” to represent that war in the museum as well.
“My goal is to show respect to all veterans, no matter when or where they served,” he said.
It is a goal he has passed on to his 13-year-old son, Jason, who regularly helps out at the museum.
“He’s put in a lot of hours on this,” Mundell said of his son, who was with him at the museum on Saturday.
Maintaining the museum has become a father-son activity.
And it’s all for the veterans.
Mundell sees the museum as “hopefully, just a place you can come to gain some knowledge” and understanding of what the veterans have been through.
“A place of respect for veterans, a place that shows their sacrifice,” Mundell said.
As visitors leave the museum, they see a display of three casket shipping containers, with names of individuals from Vigo County whose caskets were shipped in those containers.
“That’s the price of war, right there,” Mundell said.
Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@ tribstar.com.
Veterans Museum continues to expand, filling space with memories, memorabilia
TERRE HAUTE —
Displays inside a Terre Haute museum tell stories of war, courage, family and sacrifice.
- Local & Bistate
Bus safety features
New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.
Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident
Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.
Cleaner may have contaminated water
Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.
Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion
Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.
Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.
Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot
A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street
Old National acquires Michigan bank
Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.
Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area
Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.
65,000 chickens die in rural Indiana fire
WARSAW, Ind. (AP) — Thousands of chickens have been killed in a fire on a northern Indiana farm.
One person hospitalized after parking lot pile-up
A woman was hospitalized with injuries after an accident late this morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot.
Indiana teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers are heading back to classrooms starting this week and face the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that’s been retooled three times since 2009.
‘Test jury’ gauged in Indianapolis home blast case
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors and attorneys for one of the suspects in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion have begun assessing whether they can find an impartial jury to hear the case.
Vigo County Jail Log: July 28, 2014
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, based on jail records.
Old National strengthens position with Grand Rapids-based Founders Bank & Trust pending acquisition
Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. jointly announced today the execution of a definitive agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.
Conservation officers investigate death at Cataract Falls
Indiana Conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.
Postcards from the war front
A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.
Watching Gordon make history
As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”
STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury
Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.
Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014
Travel the interstate at your own risk.
Report: City‘s general fund to remain in red
The city’s general fund balance on June 30 remained deep in the red, even after Terre Haute received its twice-yearly property tax check from the state.
Interns, getting foot in the door, bring diversity to workplace
Shanya Tompkins interviewed with Coldwell Banker-Troy Helman Realtors, anticipating an eight-week, part-time summer internship.
Everybody get up and dance now
National Dance Day promotes dancing as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Man arrested after rollover kills teen girl
A Terre Haute man has been arrested and a teenager has died following an alcohol-related accident early today.
Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”
Riley lion’s roar goes global
Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.
Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.
Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks
After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.
Man faces 9 charges in homicide case
A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.
UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision
A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.
- More Local & Bistate Headlines
- Bus safety features