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Items sought for veterans exhibit at Jonesborough Visitors Center

Madison Mathews • Jan 16, 2012 at 6:44 AM

Veterans of Washington County will have a chance to tell their story through a new exhibit set to open in May in the Jonesborough Washington County History Museum.

The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia has partnered with the Veterans Affairs Committee to create the exhibit, which will open May 27 in the museum located in the Jonesborough Visitors Center.

The exhibit will explore the stories associated with the service of Washington County’s veterans during both times of war and peace.

With Tennessee’s reputation as the “Volunteer State,” Heritage Alliance director Deborah Montanti expects the new permanent exhibit to showcase the larger story of Washington County’s many veterans.

“I think the exciting thing about it is that it’s allowing these folks in their own words to tell their stories. We are asking them to tell a story related to that artifact and we’re going to use portions of those quotes to do the interpretation. I think we’re also going to find that our volunteer service to the nation is much greater than we realize,” she said.

The organizations hope to obtain artifacts belonging to residents of Washington County to use in the exhibit, which will see artifacts rotated out every six months.

Montanti said the rotation will allow the exhibit to offer new looks at the history of military service in the county.

“This is a really interesting way for us to do a new permanent exhibit that includes a much broader swath of the community than we would be able to include,” she said.

The exhibit will encompass two to three wall panels and one case inside the museum.

The Heritage Alliance is looking for a wide variety of artifacts to displayinthemuseum. Everything from photographs and scrapbooks to documents and uniforms will be accepted.

Each artifact must be from the 20th century to the present. Due to space issues, only one artifact per veteran will be collected.

Those who wish to loan their artifacts to the exhibit are asked to provide a story or fact pertaining to the piece. The stories will be featured alongside each artifact in the museum.

Collection dates for the exhibit will be held in the Visitors Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Jan. 30, Feb. 18, March 17 and March 26.

For more information, call the Heritage Alliance at 753-9580.

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