Two exhibits honoring veterans at First Division Museum

  • The First Division Museum's new exhibit honors the service of Mexican Americans in the military, past and present. It is offered in conjunction with Cantigny Park's Mexican folk art exhibit, "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World."

    The First Division Museum's new exhibit honors the service of Mexican Americans in the military, past and present. It is offered in conjunction with Cantigny Park's Mexican folk art exhibit, "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World." Courtesy of First Division Museum

 
 
Posted6/29/2022 6:39 PM

This summer, stop by the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park for two new exhibits: "Panel 44: Eight Days in March," a traveling exhibit commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and "The Mexican American Military Experience."

The traveling exhibit, on display inside the museum until Aug. 13, contains the original Panel 44 produced in 1982 for the Washington, D.C., memorial. It was never placed in the wall, however, due to a fracture in the upper right edge of the black granite. Many years later, the panel was found for sale online.

 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund contacted the seller and acquired the panel, which was displayed at its offices until its removal for this traveling exhibit.

The panel features the names of 335 American soldiers who died while serving in Vietnam between March 9-16, 1968.

More information about Panel 44 is available on this Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund webpage: vvmf.org/Panel44/.

On display in the museum lobby is "The Mexican American Military Experience."

The exhibit, on display through Nov. 7, highlights the significant contributions of Latino soldiers who served in the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One.

This military writ-large storyline is a companion experience to Cantigny Park's Mexican folk art exhibit, "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World" exhibit this summer and highlights select interpretations associated with 1st Infantry Division Mexican American soldiers.

The First Division Museum at 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton is open daily (except Mondays) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This summer, the museum remains open until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Visit FDMuseum.org for additional details.

The First Division Museum, part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundations, promotes public learning about America's military heritage and affairs through the history of the "Big Red One"--the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. The museum's main exhibit hall, "First in War," transports visitors to the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II and the jungles of Vietnam. A second exhibit hall, "Duty First," explores the 1ID's history in more recent times. The Robert R. McCormick Research Center, open to the public, houses the museum's library, archival and photo collections. Outside, tanks from every era are interpreted, along with artillery pieces and a personnel carrier. Solemn memorial markers and commemorative statuary also command visitors' attention. The museum's "Footsteps of the First" travel program, in partnership with Academic Travel Abroad, will explore Normandy and other key sites in Western Europe, Oct. 6-15, 2022. Full details, including the itinerary and registration, are on the museum website.

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