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Veterans Museum displays Tomb of the Unknowns

Xavier Smith • Oct 23, 2017 at 4:49 PM

The recently opened Wilson County Veterans Museum welcomed the Tomb of the Unknowns Soldier traveling replica. 

The exhibit will be on display through Wednesday and is free for all visitors. Museum hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the exhibit. 

There are also veterans on-site who can share the history and provide brochures about the tomb, which is located in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

This is an opportunity that is a once in a lifetime experience.  Some will never have the opportunity to see the original in D.C, but can have the experience here in Wilson County.

The Tomb of the Unknown is a monument dedicated to American service members who died without their remains identified. It is known as the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, but was never officially named. 

Phillip Burkhalter and staff at Burkhalter Construction completed the design and construction of the exhibit. Chuck Schmult, a well-known artist from Rome, Georgia, created the sculptures, engraving and painting.

The exhibit caps off a full week of activities planned at the Wilson County Veterans Museum during its first full week in operation.

Wilson County School Days will be Thursday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

On Friday, a prayer service will be held at 10 a.m.

The Tennessee Military Collector’s Association, a group of private collectors who acquired rare military items from around the world, will display them to the public free of charge Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the museum.                        

The Wilson County Veterans Plaza was officially completed after the Wilson County Veterans Museum received a grand opening last Thursday.

“We hope that you go about your daily lives and you will look over at this memorial when you drive by and just for a moment, think about these veterans and what they did for our country and their sacrifices, as well,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said.

The museum features a Vietnam-era fully restored “Huey” helicopter, as well as exhibits from each period in U.S. history. The artifacts in the exhibit belonged to Wilson County veterans.

Visitors to the museum will be able to select programs to watch on large video monitors over each section. The videos will give an overview of the conflict and explain the artifacts in each case.

The complex also houses the Wilson County Veterans Affairs office, the Wilson County Veterans Plaza and a research library.

“This is an outstanding landmark in our county and visibly symbolized our unwavering commitment to the principles of selfless, courageous and patriotic service to our country,” said retired Lt. Gen. John Pickler. “If the future – as I did yesterday – bring your family to the plaza and help them to know our veterans’ sacrifices and services are appropriately recognized here in Lebanon.”

Exhibits in the museum will rotate several times a year.

For more information, contact Wilson County Veterans Affairs director Michael McPherson at 615-444-2460.

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