“WWI Beyond the Trenches: Stories from the Front” runs through April 2019. This is the first time the museum has used a story-based approach, drawing on its substantial oral history collection and archives to share the stories of the Wisconsin soldiers, sailors, nurses and airmen who helped shape global history.
In making the announcement, museum director Michael Telzrow detailed the scope of Wisconsin’s role in the war.
“Between the United States entering the First World War on April 6, 1917, and the armistice on November 11, 1918, more than 122,000 Wisconsin men and women served, each contributing to the final victory in their own way,” said Telzrow. “These Wisconsinites cared for the wounded, protected our shores, ventured high in the skies, and endured trench warfare, making each of their stories of service and sacrifice unique yet with one common cause.”
Visitors to this new exhibit will hear audio recordings, see photographs, and read diary-like letters and log entries that illustrate, as nothing else could, the humanity behind the history. The stories of more than 20 Wisconsin veterans will be featured, including those of:
· Helen Bulovsky of Madison, an Army nurse who was so close to the front lines that she felt the ground shake during artillery bombardments while caring for the wounded.
· John Isermann of Kenosha, who joined the Coast Guard on the eve of the war and was immediately shifted to Navy control in the Atlantic to provide vessel protection in enemy submarine-infested waters.
· Arthur Cantwell of Shawano, an 18-year-old just out of high school who enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guard and served on the front line.
· Mortimer Lawrence of Beaver Dam, an aerial observer actually credited with the last U.S. aerial victory.
“The words of the brave men and women who served our country during World War I are irreplaceable and we’re honored to share their stories with our visitors,” said Telzrow.
The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, and entrance is free. It is located at 30 W. Mifflin St., directly across from the State Capitol. For more details, visit www.WisVetsMuseum.com