[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]
From November 3 to November 13, 2015, an exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service: A Historical Tribute to Veterans” will be on display at the Dare County Arts Council building, in the upstairs old courtroom, at 300 Queen Elizabeth Street in Manteo, N.C. The exhibit is part of a broader Veterans’ Day celebration by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center that includes a reception and program at the Dare County Arts Council on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. The program will include a short preview of the exciting new documentary film, Mysteries of the Graveyard, by Bryan Jones, noted local videographer and independent researcher, and a panel discussion that will elaborate on the current exhibit in the Outer Banks History Center Gallery on the history of the U.S. Coast Guard in North Carolina.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. Soldiers, sailors, and aviators may fight for our freedoms, but their families sacrifice and work just as hard to maintain the home front in the service personnel’s absence. The exhibit uses artwork, photographs, and unique documentary sources to provide a glimpse into the different ways in which North Carolinians have experienced war and military service.
The exhibit features reproductions of original and never-before-seen materials documenting the visual, artistic, and documentary experience of North Carolina military personnel and their families. The items on exhibit are all from North Carolina residents, and come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center. Items such as original World War II artwork by an Army sniper, showing his view of the war, and military-themed cartoons on a Cannon Mills company war newsletter from World War II offer different views of war and the activities that support military operations in our country.
In order to offer this exhibit for all North Carolinians, the State Archives of North Carolina will be posting the exhibit virtually on social media through the State Archives’ History For All the People blog. One to two items per day will be posted from November 11 (Veterans’ Day) through November 22, 2015, along with a blog post about the item’s history and the historical period it represents. The original items are available for viewing at their corresponding storage locations in the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh and the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo. This online exhibit serves as the State Archives’ acknowledgment and thank you to all of North Carolina’s veterans and their families for the 2015 Veterans’ Day holiday. If you see veterans this Veterans’ Day, please thank them for their service, and remember to acknowledge their families as well.