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Veterans Shrine & Museum Hosts Memorial Events

The Veterans National Memorial Shrine & Museum in Fort Wayne has a plethora of upcoming events and recently announced a “Watch Fire” event on Friday, May 26th and Saturday, May 27th at 2122 O’Day Road. The event starts at 6pm on Friday and runs for a 24-hour period until 6pm Saturday evening.

This will be the 35th Watch Fire at the local memorial. It is held each May, the Friday before Memorial Weekend, to honor fallen heroes. Logs are put on the fire to honor all veterans who served fighting for our freedom and died. They all answered the call and their services to our country are remembered at this event.

“Watch Fires” date back as far as 1735 as General George Washington used “Watch Fires” to alert his troops of enemy positions. “Watch Fires” was used during the Revolutionary War 1775-1783 to alert lost or wounded troops to where to find medical help and friendly shelter from the enemy.

Roy Vierck, organizer of the event, says, “This annual event is very popular with veterans of all wars. Family members may have a soldier’s name read at the dedication by submitting their veteran’s name by coming out in person and reading a name in their honor at the ceremony.”

The Watch Fire will start promptly at 6pm and logs remembering veterans will be placed at the ceremonial fire ring for a full 24-hour period, until 6 pm the next day. Veterans and their families are encouraged to come out and pay tribute to a fallen hero. The public is always welcome to attend.

In addition to the Watch Fire, The Veterans National Memorial Shrine & Museum has also announced the Grand Opening of the new 6,000 sq ft W. Paul Wolf War History Museum. The event will take place at 11 am on Saturday, May 27th at 2122 O’Day Road, Fort Wayne.

This new larger facility is three times the size of the old museum and will feature more artifacts, exhibits, and some interactive displays.

According to Robert Thomas, Curator at the museum, “It will enhance the story telling ability of the different wars the United States has been involved in since the Revolutionary War.” Thomas continued to say, “There are new graphics, war history maps, new mannequins with many uniforms worn from that specific era and reader boards that outline the timelines of the different wars. It’s quite an educational journey for all visitors, as well as veterans who served.”

There is also a new Gift Shop and Coffee Café with comfortable chairs where Veterans can gather and share stories about their wartime experiences. The new museum will feature ADA accessible restrooms for easy access for all patrons.

The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday 11am to 4 pm. Call for Larger Group Tours: 260-267-5022.
The Memorial grounds are open 24/7.

The Waynedale News Staff
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