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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saunemin Grade School talk

On January 18 I had the honor to speak to the Saunemin Grade School class of Susie Garrett, the grand-daughter of John Rodino of Pontiac. John was a great member of our museum and was the World War II radioman of Audie Murphy, the most highly decorated soldier of the war. I took our museum's mannequin of Mr. Rodino with his uniform and decorations for the students to see. Some students have already encouraged their parents to visit our museum. Great students, very attentive and curious with many questions! Thanks to Saunemin Grade School 3rd and 4th grade classes!

Heyworth High School visit

Heyworth High School Advanced Placement history students visited our museum on January 17. Led by their teacher, Jennifer Weaver, these students had some very original questions about the social and psychological aspects of military service. Each student interviewed at least 5 of our veterans for their project. We found them very well informed and interested and enjoyed speaking with them. We look forward to another visit by next years seniors!

Astoria High School visit

The War Museum hosted the senior Astoria High School history classes on January 12. This is the third consecutive year that Doug Banwart, history teacher, has brought his students to visit us. Brought? Yes, he drives the bus too! It is always a pleasure to have our veterans speak with these enthusiastic history students. Astoria High School holds the record of the furthest distance travelled to our museum - over 140 miles! Following the museum visit, another tradition was accomplished - the enjoyment of pizza by all at Mario's - the best in Pontiac, if not all of Illinois. Thanks to Doug, his wife, and his students. We look forward to your fourth visit next year!

Juan Ruiz Speaks to History Teachers

Our museum was proud to sponsor a presentation by Juan Ruiz of Chenoa IL at the McLean County Museum of History last Friday, January 28. Juan is a former Army Ranger with two tours in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan. He spoke about his service and his trip to the Pentagon this past summer to attend a Medal of Honor Ceremony at the Pentagon and illustrated his talk with a PowerPoint presentation of slides and video. His audience of history teachers from across Illinois was very appreciative. Thanks Juan!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Video: Dal Estes recounts D-Day on Omaha Beach

D-Day: June 6, 1944

Today on the 67th Anniversary of D-Day, we honor and remember America's sons of 1944 who landed in Normandy, France to begin the liberation of Europe after 5 long years of Nazi occupation. Our founder, Dal Estes, landed in the second wave on Omaha Beach,"Bloody Omaha", and returned 50 years later to return a flag captured from a German bunker. He proudly wore his uniform every day in Normandy, and from the respect and love he received from the local people, he was inspired to found our museum almost seven years ago to honor our current military personnel as well as our veterans. From that dream, we have been visited by Americans from every state and people from 50 countries as well as countless school field trips. Thanks to our volunteers, members and supporters are we expand our reach and influence in Central Illinois.

This 13 minute video is hosted on the website and includes a recounting by ex-Sgt Dal Estes of his landing on D-Day. It is dedicated to all those who have served or are currently serving our country around the world.