Since 1960, the First Division Museum has told the story of the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division.
“We do so because our benefactor, the late Colonel Robert R. McCormick, served in that division in WWI and was devoted to it for the rest of his life, and so we’re carrying out his legacy by telling that story,” said Paul Herbert, Executive Director of the museum.
Starting in World War I and going through Vietnam, visitors can get a small glimpse of what the wars were like for the unit, also known as the “Big Red One.” But officials feel it’s time to tell more of their story.
“Another 50 years has gone by since Vietnam, and 25 since we opened and so it’s time for us to tell the continuing story of the division,” said Herbert.
To do so, the museum will convert their temporary exhibit space into a permanent gallery, highlighting the division’s recent history.
Herbert explains, “It’s a renovation of the entire museum, everything in it, but the center of gravity is telling that story, and telling it in a way that we can update as the story continues, because the First Division is still on active duty and deployed all over the world.”
The new exhibit, which will begin construction after Veteran’s Day, will utilize interactive and immersive media experiences to help connect visitors with soldiers and veterans from the First Division.
“This is actually an exhibit that is made for you and me today, I think that one of the things we were challenged with is the history is so current, and we’re trying to find ways to help victors walk away remembering and understanding and being able to relate to the history and ongoing conflicts that go on in our world,” said AJ Goehle, Director of Strategy and Design for Luci Creative.
The entire project is estimated to cost seven million dollars and will be completed in the summer of 2017.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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