The Alaska Veterans Museum is focused on honoring our nation’s veterans and insuring that because of the sacrifices they made to defend America’s freedom, “They Shall Not Be Forgotten.” As President Calvin Coolidge said, “A nation which forgets its defenders, will itself be forgotten.”
The Museum began in 2001 with a dream. Some VFW Brothers and sisters and concerned citizens could see that our community was missing something. The rich military history in Alaska was being overlooked. There was no veterans museum. There was no place to hear the stories of Servicemen and Servicewomen, or learn of the military’s contributions to the growth of Alaska, or how Alaskans defended the United States. The idea for Alaska Veterans Museum was born.
Some of the museums earliest founders, Forest and Cathy Brooks, had helped to form a similar museum in Centralia then Chehalis, WA and were ready to help start one here. They, and others, began gathering historical artifacts; weapons, uniforms, photos, posters, models, dioramas, oral histories, and more.
AVM was awarded a business license and became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation in 2002. We started advertising, marching in parades, supporting local community events. Board members briefed over 212 various community groups. Finally in the spring of 2008, we were given an amazing opportunity for our first public exhibit. Six months in the largest museum in Alaska, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. The exhibit, “Castner’s Cutthroats: Forgotten Heroes,” debuted with a panel discussion featuring the last three living Alaska Scouts, Lt Earl Acuff, Sgt Ed Walker, T5 (Corporal) Billy Buck, and author Jim Rearden. We also paid tribute to T5 (Corporal) Buck Delkettie who had passed away prior to our exhibit. Oral Histories from these fine men still play at the museum today. 19 months after our debut, our exhibit was finally taken down. When it was taken down, the Anchorage Museum’s Historian, Marilyn Knapp, said it was the most popular local exhibit the museum had ever had. She also said, “I miss my old friend there in the atrium - it was a great exhibit.”
Alaska Veterans Museum
333 W 4th AV, Suite 227
Anchorage, AK 99501
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