Museum Center honors military history, sacrifices

May 14, 2015

The Cincinnati Museum Center's new exhibit, Treasures of Our Military Past, opens Friday.  It features artifacts and exhibits from the region, all related to armed conflicts over the last two centuries.

Director of History Collections and Library Scott Gampfer says, “Although there are things in this exhibit from famous people, Presidents and politicians and people who are famous, there are also many things in this exhibit from just ordinary people.”

“It might be your neighbors, it could have been your grandparents, your great grandparents.  It’s both famous people, but it’s also the story of ordinary people, all of whom, the one thing they have in common is that they have some connection to our military history.”

Gampfer says Treasures of Our Military Past isn't about the equipment or weapons.  “It was beyond the scope of this exhibit to do a chronological or comprehensive history of military conflicts or even of a time period. 

The uniform and belongings of General William H. Lytle, who was killed at Chickamauga during the Civil War.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

“Instead what we wanted to do from the very beginning is (sic) find artifacts, objects, documents, photographs in our collections that have an interesting story.  And usually that story is the story of the person who used that artifact.”

Gampfer says the artifacts on display all come from the museum's collection.

Gampfer says he wants visitors to come away with a new respect for veterans and others who made sacrifices.  “A lot of times we think just in terms of our own lifespan.  But there were many people, generations and generations before us who made sacrifices.  Many of them we don’t even know their names.  But they made their contributions. They made their sacrifices.  Sometimes they gave their lives.”

This weekend, the museum is hosting a salute to the armed forces with a World War II bomber flyover on Saturday. 

The exhibit runs until September.