2007-11-08 / Front Page

Locally themed WWII exhibit to open in E.B.

BY MARY ANNE ROSS Correspondent

ANDREW MILLER staff East Brunswick Historical Society President Estelle Goldsmith (from right) and members Rosalie Littlefield and Kathryn Sullivan look over memorabilia included in the World War II exhibit, which opens at the Milltown Road museum Sunday. See story, page 4. ANDREW MILLER staff East Brunswick Historical Society President Estelle Goldsmith (from right) and members Rosalie Littlefield and Kathryn Sullivan look over memorabilia included in the World War II exhibit, which opens at the Milltown Road museum Sunday. See story, page 4. EAST BRUNSWICK - After months of preparation, the township's Historical Society will open a World War II exhibit on Sunday, complete with local stories and in-person veterans.

The displays will feature maps of the Pacific, European and North African war theaters. There will be newspaper articles from the time, letters sent home and maps of battles.

Local stories play a major role in the exhibit, and some of the veterans who fought in those conflicts will be on hand. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with and speak to area veterans about their experiences during the war.

The East Brunswick Historical Society invited local men and women to share their stories and personal belongings from the war so they can be incorporated into the exhibit.

ANDREW MILLER staff East Brunswick Historical Society member Rosalie Littlefield holds a Bronze Star that is included in the World War II exhibit opening Sunday at the museum on Milltown Road. ANDREW MILLER staff East Brunswick Historical Society member Rosalie Littlefield holds a Bronze Star that is included in the World War II exhibit opening Sunday at the museum on Milltown Road. "We advertised on EBTV and sent fliers to veterans' groups," said Betty Quackenboss, vice president of the organization.

About 20 veterans were interviewed, she said, noting that some of these veterans are foremost experts on the war.

"You know when you're in the service, you just do what you're told, but you don't always know why. Afterwards you can look at things from a broader perspective. Some of the people we met with had written down their remembrances of the war," Quackenboss said.

Two or three veterans will be on hand each time the museum is open to the public, and there will be a display featuring some of their personal artifacts and describing their wartime experiences.

"We have pictures of them during the war, and some of their medals and letters," said Quackenboss.

Of the 20 veterans involved in the project, one was a woman, and her U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted For Volunteer Emergency Services) uniform is included in the exhibit.

"They are all really looking forward to speaking with our guests," Quackenboss said.

Members of the society met with veterans in their homes, at the library or senior center. They meticulously recorded their interviews, which will be kept in the museum archives. Students, scholars and history buffs will be able to access the documents when doing research on the war.

"It's been a wonderful experience for us. They have been very generous with their time. We are hoping that more veterans will come forward so that we can preserve their stories," Quackenboss said.

The exhibit will be open from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, and during the same time frame on Dec. 9, Feb. 10, March 16, April 13 and May 18. Admission is free. The museum is located at 78 Milltown Road.

Refreshments will be served at the opening.

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