Originally Published: November 9, 2018 9:17 p.m.
It’s been a year of awards for Sharlot Hall Museum — latest being the “Stewart Frazier Patriotism Award,” recognizing the museum’s continuing support of the military through exhibits, education programs and patriotic presentations.
“It’s a very special presentation that they do periodically to persons and organizations that they feel have met the spirit of patriotism,” said Museum Executive Director Fred Veil.
Sharlot Hall museum was selected because of its recent “Above and Beyond, Arizona and the Medal of Honor” exhibit, which featured the Marines, as well as the current World War I exhibit, Veil said. Further, in June, the Marine Corps League had a three-day exhibit on the Battle of Belleau Woods where the Marines earned the nickname “devil dogs,” he said.
Veil, a Marine Corps veteran, was also personally acknowledged with the “Military Order of the Devil Dogs” for his continuing support of the Corps.
The award was unexpected, said Museum Media and Marketing Director Ken Leja. Veterans definitely have a place in Arizona heritage and history and, while there’s nothing specifically planned for future exhibits in the next two years, the museum is in the process of doing research for a World War II exhibit as well as recognitions for the Korean and Vietnam wars, he said. Meanwhile, the World War I exhibit will continue throughout 2019.
“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to continue to keep that particular exhibit intact to where we can add to it as we expand our exhibits here and turn it into a permanent exhibit,” Leja said. “There will always be a place for military and recognizing our military and the service that they have done moving forward.”
This weekend, more specifically Sunday, Nov. 11, marks the 100th anniversary of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th hour when armistice was declared, ending what was then known as the War to End All Wars — World War I. On Monday, Nov. 12, the designated day Veterans Day is to be observed, Sharlot Hall Museum, is waiving the reduced veterans admission fee for the day, allowing veterans and active duty military men and women into the museum for free.
For everyone else, admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for college students, $5 for youth ages 13 to 17, free for children 12 and younger, and free for anyone with a Sharlot Hall Museum Membership.
Though the museum has always offered a discount for veterans and active military personnel ever since it started charging admission, free admission for veterans and active military personnel is something that’s never been done at Sharlot Hall Museum, Leja said.
“Because of the significance of this, our 100th anniversary from World War I and the armistice that finally ended that War to End All Wars … we really want to recognize and honor those who have done that service for our country,” he said.
World War I changed Arizona as well as the entire United States, turning the country into a world leader, Leja said.
For anyone who hasn’t seen Sharlot Hall Museum’s “Arizona and the Great War” exhibit, it’s an awesome exhibit that reflects on Arizona’s impact and participation in the war, he said.
“When you put it into context, Arizona had only become a state a very short time prior and we were still considered the wild, wild west, that frontier, and here we were being asked to participate and to fully become part of the Union participation in a war across the country,” Leja said.
“What did Arizonans do to contribute? How did we impact the war? Yes, we have heroes that are recognized, Frank Luke, Ernest A. Love to name a few, and I know that there will be some recognition of those who lost their lives directly associated with World War I as part of our Veterans Day celebrations. But it’s letting people know and recognize just who was there, who were those boys that went ‘Over There.’”