Five local organizations are coming together with the shared interest in giving voice to the legacy of men and women from West Central Illinois who have served in the armed forces. At the heart of the project is the common interest of providing veterans an opportunity to share their experiences as a way to build community, as well as for others to gain insights. Often individual stories are not a part of current conversation or the historical narrative that surrounds conflicts. Veterans’ experiences in the armed services constitute a valuable treasure that these organizations wish to preserve for future generations.
To achieve this goal, a partnership has been formed from area organizations including the Buchanan Center for the Arts; the Western Illinois University’s SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace magazine; the Warren County History Museum; the Western Illinois Museum; and the Western Illinois University Veterans Resource Center. The collective is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and listening to the stories of veterans and service members from the Western Illinois region. In addition to providing a way for veterans to document their experiences, the public will be invited to programs and exhibits to learn more about and support local veterans.
The Western Illinois Museum and the Warren County Museum are looking for veterans or active service members who would be willing to be interviewed about their time in the military over the next year. These interviews will be preserved in the museums’ collections and may be featured, along with past recordings, in an exhibit and programs. There will be a reception to honor veterans and launch the initiative on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at the Western Illinois Museum located at 201 South Lafayette Street in Macomb, Illinois.
Those interested in recording an interview in McDonough County can contact Sue Scott at the Western Illinois Museum at 309.837.2750 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or in Warren County, Kellen Hinrichsen at the Warren County Museum at 309.734.8433 for more information.
About the Organizations
Buchanan Center for the Arts
Over the course of the last 25+ years, Buchanan Center for the Arts has served the residents of the Warren County region and beyond, providing creative and diverse artistic experiences. Housed in an historic building on the square in downtown Monmouth, Illinois, the center features 2,400 square feet of exhibition space, artisan gift shop, and a studio for classes, meetings, and other arts-related and community events.
SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace is a magazine that features the writings of Western Illinois University student and alumni veterans. Advisors Barbara Harroun and Jacqueline Wilson-Jordan work with a team of students including Ryan Bronaugh, fiction editor; Daniel Holst, poetry editor; Jared Worley, non-fiction editor, and Luke Cummings, art editor. SITREP, though it stands for the Commander’s Situation Report, is a military term used to describe, or inquire on, an individual’s situation –mental, physical, emotional, as well as contextual.
Warren County History Museum Since 1968, the Warren County History Museum has worked to collect, preserve, and display the extensive history of Warren County. The museum strives to connect people to their past through exhibitions, educational programming, and public outreach projects. By forming these connections, we hope to create a more engaged and better informed community.
Western Illinois Museum
Western Illinois Museum connects and unites people around the history, ideas, and cultures of west central Illinois. Programs and exhibits are the tools used to teach the importance of knowing, valuing and respecting the past. Its collection ensures the region’s treasure and achievements are not lost to future generations.
Western Illinois University Veterans Resource Center
The Veterans Resource Center is committed to assisting those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, and their family members. In collaboration with an array of University departments and community organizations, the center provides coordinated services and resources in a one-stop location to ensure that all veterans and service members are afforded the greatest opportunities for success.