Museum’s new mural depicts history of military in Miami Valley
By Melody Vallieu
Terry Purke conducts a tour of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum Wednesday in Troy.
Take time to remember.
The Miami Valley Veterans Museum offers a walk through the history of military service for local veterans.
And it now has a new feature. With the support of the local Troy Foundation, a 42-foot mural, “Veterans Marching Through Time 1775-2016,” is on display.
Troy artist Karen Purke was commissioned to complete the two-year project.
The nine-panel mural features reproductions of Purke’s drawings, historical photographs in the public domain and photos that are part of the museum’s collection.
Each of the military branches — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines — is represented. Purke said there also are recurring themes throughout, including military veterans maintaining their equipment, preparing their food and taking care of the wounded.
“All of the things veterans have done for hundreds of years,” Purke said.
The overarching image of the mural is that of an American flag. At a distance, the flag is seen; the individual photos are the focus the nearer the viewer stands.
“I really wanted to create something that had a double-image concept where you could look at each panel separately, but you could stand a few feet back and see an overall image that ties the time periods together,” she said.
She and her husband, local historian Terry Purke, researched many details, in addition to doing interviews with local veterans.
She worked with a local print shop, Characters Inc. of Troy, to bring the panels to fruition. She designed the panels and they were printed on a wide-format printer, like ones used to make signs for semis and train cars.
Small reproductions of certain time periods will be used in traveling educational displays as well.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of veterans throughout the years and the sacrifices they have made for our country,” Purke said. “I hope that visitors to the museum who view the mural will find a renewed respect for all of the men and women who have served our country.”
Tristan Weis, president of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, said the project is a tremendous asset.
“Since the completion of the first panel, we have heard many great things about the project. From people like Sen. Bill Beagle to World War II veterans, all have had positive impressions,” Weis said. “We fully expect that as we continue to have it on public display and through our traveling outreach and education efforts, more positive comments and effects will be seen from the mural.”
PLAN A VISIT
To view the “Veterans Marching Through Time 1775-2016” mural or any of the featured displays, visit the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, located on the second floor of the Masonic Building, 107 W. Main St., downtown Troy. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Visitors are encouraged to use the elevator. Museum admission is free.
The museum has a monthly coffee and doughnuts with veterans beginning at 9 a.m. first Wednesdays. It defines the Miami Valley as encompassing those from Lima to Cincinnati and the Indiana border to Columbus.
For details, call 937-332-8852 or visit http://miamivalleyveteransmuseum.com/