HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Front and center this Veterans Day is a local museum honoring our heroes.
The U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum on Airport Road in Huntsville has a collection of amazing artifacts that showcase our nation’s military history.
Everywhere you look in the museum, there are things that pay tribute to American military men and women.
“For us here at the museum, every day is Veteran’s Day because that’s why we exist- to pay tribute, respect and honor to all of our nation’s veterans. Some say we’re about the people in Huntsville but we’re not. We’re about all United States veterans. That’s why you see all of the flags in the museum. Every state is represented,” said Randy Withrow, Museum Director.
“We have a very rich military heritage. Our military heritage goes back to the Revolutionary War and we have had men and women serve with honor for the last 200 years in uniform and out of uniform supporting our military,” added Larry Bayer, Director of Exhibits.
The 12,000-square-foot facility is one of the country’s premier military museums with hundreds of memorabilia, artifacts, and equipment ranging from the American Revolutionary War to present day Iraq and Afghanistan.
Open since 2001, one of the top destinations in Huntsville on TripAdvisor.com.
The year-round museum has more than 30 historical vehicles dating back to World War I are also available for viewing, including military aircraft, Jeeps, motorcycles, tanks, and more.
“We always furnish a jeep for the grand marshal and the command sergeant major if he elects to take one and as many moving military vehicles as we can muster because we believe that’s a visible thing people can see and relate to the veterans through these items here,” Withrow explained.
Bayer added: “Every Veteran’s Day right after the parade, we will have an open house. We are inundated with parade goers who want to see more of the military vehicles that we have here. We are delighted to be able to host this event. We’ve done it for the past 16-17 years.”
One of the things that are rare and hard to come by- the Ford Pygmy, that became the Jeep- the only one in the world.
Since the U.S. Veteran Memorial Museum opened nearly 17 years ago, attendance has grown to roughly 10,000 visitors annually.
“We want to showcase our military and we want the younger people to be educated in the role of the military, what the military has done for this country and the sacrifices that the men and women have made for our country,” Bayer said. “There are a number of gems in the museum- things that are rare and hard to come by.”
Hours of operation are Wednesday – Saturday: 10 a.m – 4 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day
$5 Donation for Adults
$4 Donation for Seniors
$3 Donation for Students under 18