A new exhibit, “A Salute to the Military,” opens at 1 p.m. Friday at the Sparks Museum and Cultural Center. Sparks Mayor Geno Martini and the Board of Trustees of the Museum invite the public to join them at the opening of this special exhibit, commemorating the nation’s battles from the Civil War to the Global War on Terrorism.
The exhibit is full of interesting facts and includes photos, weapons, artifacts, models and uniforms donated by over thirty local veterans and their families. A sandbag bunker built by the Boy Scouts gives one a real sense of the Vietnam Era. Visitors have the opportunity to feel how heavy the uniforms were by trying on a bullet proof vest and helmet.
“Nevadans have always been proudly patriotic and we felt it was important to honor the contribution our local community has made to US military history, both past and present,” says Museum Director Anthea Humphreys.
A rare 36 Star Flag, Spanish American War uniforms, a piece of the Berlin Wall, “Iraqi’s Most Wanted” playing cards and an impressive collection of weapons (inert of course) ranging from a World War I machine gun to an M72 LAW’s and an M18 Claymore Mine, are but a few of the items on display.
Visitors learn how during World War I, Nevada led the nation in the ratio of volunteer enlistments for the regular Army. Between April 1, 1917 and February 28, 1918, the total number of 1,447 enlistments far exceeded the 162 required by the federal government. They also learn about the “Spirit of Sparks,” a B25J bomber purchased by the citizens of Sparks during World War II.
All of the services are represented in the salute and there are photos and stories about some of our local community members.
In the upcoming months, the Museum will be hosting special lectures, military art exhibits and a military Appreciation Day highlighted by a collection of military vehicles.
“A Salute to the Military” was made possible thanks to contributions from Twin City Surplus, 1096 Collectibles, the Reno Preservation Group, the City of Sparks, the Nevada Army National Guard, Boy Scout Troop 441, and over 30 individuals.
The Sparks Museum is a Blue Star Museum. Active Duty personnel and their families get free admission through Labor Day.