The National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, opened a new special exhibition this month — The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation — on view at the museum and the accompanying virtual experience through October 2, 2022. Derived from “The Twenty-Year War,” a book launched at the museum on the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, Museum staff created this powerful exhibition in collaboration with book producer/photographer, Beau Simmons, and authors, Dan Blakeley and Tom Amenta, both former U.S. Army Rangers.
“We created The Twenty-Year War exhibition to share the unvarnished stories of service and sacrifice from post-9/11 Veterans, in their own words, on their journey of transition to a new mission in their civilian lives,” said Dan Blakeley. “I hope everyone who sees and interacts with this work will reflect on their own lives and consider how they can support returning Veterans eager to serve their communities.”
The exhibition consists of 20 (40″ x 32″) Veteran portraits and their stories featured in the museum’s special exhibition space, with a QR code allowing guests to explore videos and podcasts that delve deeper into each Veteran’s story. The virtual portion of the exhibition and a short origin film, providing an introduction from the exhibition creators, is available on the National Veterans Memorial and Museum website at: https://nationalvmm.org/events-programs/exhibitions/the-twenty-year-war/.
“Veterans of the Global War on Terror may be asking themselves if their service mattered… It did and it does,” said Lt. General Michael Ferriter, president and CEO, National Veterans Memorial and Museum. “Veterans of our country’s longest war were an all-volunteer force, many of whom joined after 9/11, knowing they would deploy to combat. Now that they are transitioning, this exhibition is an opportunity to connect Veterans and civilians to facilitate an understanding of the skills and leadership Veterans bring to our communities.”
Details will be forthcoming on a series of guest speakers and engaging events around the themes of physical and mental wellness, transition and opportunity, and service through leadership, to connect guests to one another and to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum through this exhibition. For those who cannot visit the Museum, a virtual tour of The Twenty-Year War is being created to extend the exhibition’s reach beyond the Museum’s walls.
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