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Friday, December 3, 2010


Dear Readers,
Here is our November 2010 newsletter. As you read it, you will see that our museum continues to fulfill our mission: To honor our veterans and to support our troops. Under the leadership of our president, Jack Murphy, we are reaching and teaching students and the general public about some stories of incredible bravery and sacrifice of fellow Americans which most of us have never heard of. Here, we honor veterans, not  wars. Their stories are told every day at our museum.

Please visit our museum often. Teachers - Bring your students on a field trip to meet our veterans
Families - Bring your children to explore the meaning of "Duty, Honor, Country".
Veterans - Come by for a visit. We'd love to talk with you and to show you around our museum.

David Estes, Education Director


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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Museum joins new organization

Our museum has recently joined the AMM -  Association of Midwest Museums, headquartered in St. Louis MO. The AMM has member museums in 12 Midwestern states. We have been an active member of the IAM - Illinois Association of Museums, headquartered in Springfield, since our opening in 2004.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

PLEASE READ - Honoring the Tammen Brothers

One of the most recent additions to our museum is a display of the uniforms and stories of the Tammen brothers. Hank and Dena Tammen of Flanagan Il sent three of their four sons to war. John Tammen was killed by a Japanese mortar round in the Philippines. His family was notified on April 19, 1945. Three days later, on April 22, 1945, they were notified of the death of their second son, Clarence Tammen, in Europe. A third son, Peter, came back from service in Europe. Their fourth and oldest son, Henry, stayed home to help on the family farm. All four brothers and two sisters are now deceased.

Our museum accepts and displays these uniforms, photos and stories with great honor. We thank niece Clarette Carls of Flanagan and other family members for entrusting us with these precious symbols of  the shared sacrifice of American families during World War II.

Please come to our museum to see this display. Future visitors and students will now understand even more what "The Greatest Generation' accomplished and the meaning of the phrase "Freedom Isn't Free".


Tammen 2

Central Elementary in Pontiac visits on Veterans Day

We had a special visit  from these young students on Veterans Day. All of them have family members now serving in our military. We thank them also for bringing cards to hand out to veterans and to others serving our country now. Students at Central also made a "Heroes Wall" honoring family members and friends who are veterans. Thanks to teacher Brenda Thompson, whose son is in the military, and to our young visitors in the first grade!

Central 2

Sunday, September 5, 2010


IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN CONFERENCE - SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 - This Saturday,  our museum is sponsoring an opportunity for you and your family to meet 8 - 10 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They will be speaking at the Pontiac City Hall from 9 am - 12 noon. Please help us honor these soldieres as we listen to their stories and thank them for their service to our country. Free and open to the public. The War Museum across the street will be open until 4 pm after this Conference. For further information, please call (815) 842-0301.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Project America Run

Last evening our museum had the honor of a visit by Mike Ehredt of Driggs Idaho. Mike is a US Army veteran who is running solo and unsupported across America to honor and remember US servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives in Iraq since 2003. He places an American flag with a soldier's name every mile along his route to honor them. Mike's run started May 1, 2010 at the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and is projected to end in mid-October in Rockland Maryland on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Mike is averaging 29 miles per day, for a total of 4522 miles. He is spending his nights with host families across the USA, and was hosted last night by the Three Roses Bed and Breakfast in Pontiac. Mike is pushing a jogging stroller to carry flags, supplies, and communications / emergency gear. He receives shipments every 10 days from the volunteers in Idaho.

Mike wrote on his blog: "Pontiac IL is home to the Livingston County War Museum, an absolute must-see display of mannequins and memorabilia".

Following his museum visit, the City of Pontiac, Pontiac Tourism and museum officers hosted a dinner for him at DeLongs Restaurant in downtown Pontiac. Mike ate well. He burns around 8000 calories a day!

Our best wishes to Mike! He made a great impression on us. We ask our museum Facebook friends to help support his effort by sponsoring a particular soldier or marine's flag at: Proceeds go to the Honoring Our Veterans organization of Jackson Hole, Wyoming - a 501c3 charity providing recreational and social rehabilitation for wounded veterans.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Upcoming Museum Conference in Pontiac IL

Our museum is sponsoring a Conference on Iraq and Afghanistan for Saturday, September 11 from 9 am to noon at the Pontiac City Hall. Admission is free. This is an opportunity to meet and thank our recently returned veterans and to hear some of their stories. We encourage residents of Pontiac and all of Central Illinois to honor their service with our presence. For more information, please email us at: or call the museum at: (815) 842-0301.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Sixty-six years ago, America's sons stormed the beaches of Normandy France along with our allies to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi domination. My dad, Dalmain Estes, was one of those men who survived "Bloody Omaha Beach" whose sands
were covered with over 2000 men at the end of the day. This is a salute to him, to those who came home, and especially to those who didn't- to all the men and women who saved humanity in World War II.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I had the honor of attending LZ LAMBEAU in Green Bay Wisconsin last weekend. It was a beautiful 3 day salute to Vietnam veterans and those who did not return, their families and friends. Over 75,000 people filled the parking lot and Lambeau Field - home of the Green Bay Packers. There were mini-reunions, lectures on the music and literature of the Vietnam era, live bands and singers, photo displays, military aircraft and equipment, and the "Big Map"- a vinyl map of Southeast Asia and the South China Sea stretched out on the Lambeau parking lot with all principal cities and American bases marked on it. Thousands of Vietnam vets signed their names, units, and left messages to those they left behind. It will be donated to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison.
Saturday evening brought an emotional and beautiful tribute to Vietnam vets inside Lambeau Field.
Over 2000 empty white chairs were set up on the field representing Wisconsin's losses. A Medal of Honor soldier, Gary Wetzel, spoke and the Wisconsin National Guard completely surrounded the field - first turning toward the field to salute the dead, then turning toward the stands to salute the veterans. The best part of the experience at LZ Lambeau for me was sharing these experiences with the sister and niece of my best friend in Vietnam, Bob Pulaski, who died at age 19 during our operations near the A Shau Valley in 1971. I will never forget him, nor the weekend at LZ Lambeau. Thank you Sandy and Kaley.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Thanks to the Pontiac Township High School history department for arranging a very impactful field trip to our museum last week. Over two days, seven junior history classes had the opportunity to interact with twelve veterans on our staff. The students were studying the Vietnam war, but were also able to interview combat veterans of World War II and the Korean war, as well as other peacetime veterans. Our veterans were impressed by the students interest and enthusiasm for military history as students learned lessons impossible to learn by textbooks alone.

In the photo: Eric Sweetwood and Megan Bozarth of the Pontiac Township High School history department present a check to Jack Murphy, Museum president, on behalf of their school. Thank you from our veterans and museum members!