Changes at the Memorial and New Artifacts

Changes at the Memorial and New Artifacts

Hello, Friends!
So in the past few weeks, the National D-Day Memorial has gone through quite a few staff changes.  Felicia recently accepted a position at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation as an Education Officer. She has the amazing opportunity to be a part of opening the brand new American Revolution Museum in Spring 2017, and we know Felicia has an incredible future ahead of her! Also, Liz is getting married in just a few weeks so her last day at the Memorial is this week as she gets ready to move to the Tidewater region of Virginia. Both Felicia and Liz mean so much to us at the National D-Day Memorial and we appreciate all they have contributed to the success of the Memorial, and this blog in particular!
               
Ches, Felicia, and Maggie
on Felicia’s last day at the Memorial
Well now that the sad part of the blog is over, I want to introduce myself and another staff member who will be collaborating with me on the blog. My name is Maggie and I have been with the National D-Day Memorial since May 2013 as an Education Intern until January 2015 when I was hired on staff to assist Felicia with field trips and the planning of education events. I have loved my time so far at the Memorial being able to meet incredible D-Day veterans while getting to tell their stories to students and the general public! I am excited to take on this blog and look forward to this “sentimental journey” we are about to embark upon.
Today, I am including a post from Ches, the Memorial’s newest hire. She started as an Education Intern  in January 2015 and was recently hired to assist with visitors to the Memorial and our downtown offices. I am so excited that she will still be able to have a hand in Education by contributing to this blog. See her post below:
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As an intern and a volunteer, I have been mostly focused on Education and Curation. In my time here at the Memorial, I have had the wonderful privilege of working with some incredible artifacts as they have come into the Foundation’s collection. I’d like to talk to you about a new group of artifacts that we recently received and that I have been going through.
At first glance, the box full of random papers and bits of fabric didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. After all, most of the artifacts that we get that are papers are usually discharge certificates and enlistment forms and identification cards. It isn’t that these items aren’t important or even exciting- they are! It’s just that these are among the most common artifacts donated to the Foundation since they keep track of individual soldiers and are easy for families to keep. So when I opened the box and took a peek inside, I was amazed at how wrong I was. Here was an assortment of items kept by a Lt. Leonard Childers from Appomattox, Virginia in the war, from his introduction to the war in France to his capture by the Germans and the time he spent as a Prisoner Of War (POW) in one of their camps. He had kept letters he had written home, the comic books he had gotten from the Red Cross, his German identification card, and so much more. He even had a piece of an SS officer’s uniform! These pieces are all in excellent condition for being as old as they are.
We are working diligently here at the Foundation to ensure that these pieces of history can be preserved for generations to come. After all, history is a precious and valuable thing, and having artifacts such as these help to bring that history to life. They shape our understanding of the past and give us a better appreciation for what our forefathers endured for us to be here. With the POW/MIA Awareness Day only a few days behind us, on September 19, I think it’s important to remember this soldier and his sacrifice. I want to thank him and his family for their incredibly generous donation of these artifacts, so that all can remember and experience the history of a POW, even after he has passed on.  Without these artifacts, it would be much harder for some to know the valor, the fidelity, and the sacrifice that these soldiers had while being held as POWs.  
These artifacts were generously donated by Marilen Childers King and can be found in the NDDMF Collection under the collection number 2015.0026. 
-Ches
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