By Linda Hicks

MUSEUM OF VETERANS & MILITARY HISTORY

This coming weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, is World War II Living History Weekend at the Museum of Veterans and Military History in Vilonia.

It’s a time to pay tribute to those who served and those who are still living.

If you are the family member of a World War II Veteran, we encourage you to bring them to this event. A ceremony will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, recognizing World War II veterans in the audience.

Many of them, living among us, have never been recognized or thanked. This will be an opportunity.

State Senator Eddie Jo Williams of Cabot, will be the guest speaker recognizing each. It will be an outdoor event. However, there will be seating.

A re-enactment will follow at 2 p.m. There’s no charge to attend.

There were 16,112,566 members of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 697,806 American veterans from the war are still alive as of this year. In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that 430 American World War II veterans are dying daily.

Museum officials invite the public to join with them and make it a special day for a generation of veterans who gave so much.

At the museum, Friday, Sept. 30, is school day. Schools are invited to come out and bring students to visit with the re-enactors who will be providing programs in the living history encampment which will begin at about 9 a.m.

Big Band Music was the sound of the era and everyone is invited to come to the museum to hear it.

Friday night, will be 40’s Entertainment Night with an outdoor dance. The music begins at 6:30 p.m. Starting at about 7 p.m., the Penultimate Brass, a Conway Symphony Orchestra ensemble, will be playing music from the World War II-era until about 8 p.m. at the museum. DJ Dys will spin before and after as well as between sets. His collection of Big Band Music will bring back many memories for those who lived it and rekindle a love for others.

The public is invited to come out. Chairs will be set up for spectators. Re-enactors will be dressed for the period. As well, we encourage all to dress the part. You can set and listen and watch or get up and cut a rug. There is no charge to attend.

The Saturday events begins at 9 a.m. There’s no charge to attend.

However, the museum will be serving beans and cornbread or hotdog plates and drinks at a cost of $5 for either with all proceeds go to building the Peace Chapel, KIA Walkway and Gold Star Family Gardens.

For information, call 501-796-8181. The museum is located at 53 N. Mt. Olive in Vilonia.

The regular hours of operation are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays and 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., the first Sunday of the month. No charge to tour. For information, call 501-796-8181