Museum invites visitors to share their personal military history in a professional space

Wheaton, Ill., October 14, 2021 – The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park is celebrating Family History Month—and every month—by inviting local veterans and their families to share their stories of military service.

The museum’s Community Connection Case, or CCC, is a place for individuals or families to become a part of the military history narrative. Managed by Museum Specialist Jessica Waszak, the exhibit changes monthly and features military-related memorabilia, photographs and the written remembrances of veterans and family members. The case is in the museum lobby.

Waszak says the goal is to enrich our community’s appreciation of armed forces service and history, and to strengthen the museum’s bond with visitors from the area. Professional curation by the First Division Museum staff ensures eye-catching and compelling displays. Donors may also be interviewed so their stories can be featured on the museum’s social media pages.

October’s CCC exhibitors are Ralph and Linda Grieco from Winfield. Ralph’s family military history goes back to Italy in WWI when his grandfather served with the Royal Italian Army and was a POW. Ralph is a retired Colonel and spent 26 years with the Army Corps of Engineers beginning in 1970. Kevin Grieco, Ralph and Linda’s son, served in the Navy and Army National Guard before being killed in the line of duty in 2008. 

Content for the Community Connection Case is invited for 2022. Potential exhibitors should contact Waszak at jwaszak@fdmuseum.org or 630.260.8183. Submissions are also accepted via the First Division Museum websitea link is at the bottom of the home page.

The First Division Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm (4 pm close in November and December). Entry is included with Cantigny’s parking fee. Face coverings are currently required inside the museum, regardless of Covid-vaccination status. More information is online FDMuseum.org.

About the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park

The First Division Museum, part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundations, promotes public learning about America’s military heritage and affairs through the history of the “Big Red One”—the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. The museum’s main exhibit hall, First in War, transports visitors to the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II and the jungles of Vietnam. A second exhibit hall, Duty First, explores the 1ID’s history in more recent times. The Robert R. McCormick Research Center, open to the public, houses the museum’s library, archival and photo collections. Outside, tanks from every era are interpreted, along with artillery pieces and a personnel carrier. Solemn memorial markers and commemorative statuary invite quiet reflection. 

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