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The state’s first military museum is scheduled to open soon. Have you heard about the grass skirt?
Members of the Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation have been collecting, restoring and preserving military artifacts, artwork and related materials for years.
The group will finally get to share its vast collection with the public when it opens one of two buildings at Fort DuPont State Park by year’s end. The Delaware Military Heritage Museum is the state’s first museum devoted to its military accomplishments and sacrifices over the past 350 years.
“It will be a place where you can go and learn about the very rich Delaware military history, all the time,” says executive director Stephanie Przybylek. “This is going to look at that service and dedication on a regular basis.”
The museum will exhibit a broad collection of artifacts from every facet of the U.S. military, including an assortment of uniforms, photos, artwork, and even a grass skirt brought back from Bora Bora during World War II.
While gathering information and artifacts, Przybylek has discovered great fervor among the state’s veterans. “There really is such a sense of dedication and gratitude,” she says. “For me, this project is a way to give back some of that gratitude.”
Most of the $12 million dollars raised for the project will be spent on extensive renovations of the buildings. The foundation is still counting on donations from private organizations and individuals, with plans to open its second building within five years. Learn more at militaryheritage.org. —Jillian Harig