ELDRED — Ten thousand dollars is quite a gift –– and thanks to the Port Allegany Veterans Memorial, the Eldred World War II Museum received the generous amount as a donation.
Wayne Thomas, president of Port Allegany Veterans Memorial Inc., presented the $10,000 check to the Eldred World II Museum at the kick-off event for its third annual golf tournament.
Thomas recognized the museum by stating, “As a member of the Port Allegany Veterans Memorial Inc. and the son of a World War II veteran, our club and I as a whole feel it is an honor and privilege to do what we can to preserve the great education asset and heritage that the museum provides to the greatest community around and beyond.”
He added, “We all have the same objective in mind: to be there for our veterans as well as to provide education to the ones that follow the footsteps of the brave.”
According to museum directors Steve Appleby and Jesse Case, the exact uses of the money will be up for debate by the museum’s board, but they feel that the donation is a great asset in helping them keep the museum going.
Appleby said, “Our main mission is to educate today’s youth about (the veterans’) youth. Our big mission is to teach kids to stand up to evil and avoid war. This war could have been avoided had we stood up to evil when we could have and we didn’t. Our founder’s vision is to teach young people that these (veterans) are role models.”
Appleby noted that another key role for the museum is preserving artifacts and veterans’ stories, and that they are a great help in supporting the main mission of education.
Case and Appleby explained that visitors from other countries also come to the museum, as well, to learn about the war and to see the war from America’s perspective.
“We’ve had Canadians, Russians, Germans, Italians, French, Brits, Chinese, Japanese; a lot,” said Appleby.
“Generally, they’re pretty well educated. Where we saw a discrepancy was with our Japanese guests. They had no clue what happened in World War II and I believe that’s an indication of what they were taught in Japan. They’re still not coming to grips with their past in World War II and it shows in their students. They were here recently from Pitt-Bradford and they were shocked to find out what happened. But overall, (knowledge is) pretty decent,” Appleby said.
Appleby and Case are optimistic that the recent donation by the Port Allegany Veterans Memorial will inspire other local organizations to also make donations.