Library holds Memorial Day Exhibit to honor fallen

Kaylee Black and Brandy Crosson, who thought up the idea of the exhibit, hold up vintage newspapers announcing the start and end of World War 2.  In front of them is genuine memorabilia from the era.

By: 
John Pacheco

 

In honor of Memorial Day, the Dripping Springs Community Library (DSCL) recently created a walk-through exhibit in honor of Hays County residents who died in military service. The exhibit covered veterans from World War I to the more recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

The impressively researched event was he brainchild of librarians Brandon Crosson and Kaylee Black. 

“Starting in March of 2018, my coworker, Kaylee Black and I, were brainstorming ideas for our May calendar of events,” Crosson said. “We knew Memorial Day was on the 28th and wondered if we could have an event honoring those who served in World War II from Hays County. Once we started researching and reached out to our local VFW post 2933 we realized there were more names to be collected and organized from various wars. We created a binder of Hays County veterans who served in World War II as well as presentation boards with names, timelines, iconic images, and news clippings from World War I through the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.”

To complete their research, the intrepid librarians used multiple research sources. “We used our library’s online resource Ancestry.com to confirm names and dates as well as Fold3 a military records database. The website, FindAGrave.com, was a great resource to confirm death dates and find obituaries as well as other family information,” Crosson said.

Crosson and Black compiled the information into an impressive binder full of biographical information of Hays County veterans.

To aid the event, they also reached out to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion for military memorabilia that local veterans would be willing to lend the library for display for the event.  Black also reached out to a familiar source, her husband. “For years I’ve been trying to get him to throw a lot of his old military gear out, now I’m glad we held on to it,” Black said.  Black’s husband is currently deployed in Egypt, and has served in the U.S. Army for approximately 15 years. “I think he’s going to finish out his 20, and then retire. After that, I think he’s interested in a career in law enforcement. He like the idea of service, so becoming a first responder is a natural successive career for him. Right now he’s a cavalry scout, and he loves it,” Black said.

DSCL also borrowed from Texas Military Forces Museum in Texas. “They provided an authentic U.S. Army trunk full of memorabilia from World War II including a uniform, water canteen, shovel, and propaganda posters from that time period,” Crosson said.

The Saturday afternoon event was heavily attended by area veterans, as well as area residents. “I think this whole exhibit was a great idea. I think the library deserves major kudos for the work they did on this,” VFW member, and former Marine Aviator, Larry Chapman said as he visited the Veteran War section of the exhibit.

“We have had such a wonderful time learning about these brave men who served our country in our own backyard,” Crosson said. “It’s an honor to share this information with the community and we look forward to expanding on the information we’ve gathered.”

DSCL hopes to make this an annual event.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet