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ITOW to unveil new Social Room, introduce Vietnam exhibit

The In Their Own Words Veterans Museum in Perham will be holding an open house to show off its new veterans and community social room on Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At the same time, the museum will also unveil a new exhibit in the main gallery – a Vietnam War Memorial Display and Videotaped Play, created by the Minnesota community of Ashby.

The social room – formerly known as the old “VFW kitchen – has been under renovation for months, all at the hands of local volunteers. After veterans asked for a space to play cards and visit in, volunteers got to work creating a combined kitchen and social area.

The improvements were funded through a Home Depot Foundation grant. The museum is still seeking donations of high quality, comfortable furniture for the space, as well as a refrigerator and microwave.

The Vietnam War Memorial Display and Video exhibit is a tribute to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It honors service members of the U.S. Armed Forces who fought in the Vietnam War, including those who died in service or were declared Missing in Action.

While not a replica or scale model of the original memorial, the display at ITOW serves the same purpose – to honor those who served. It was created by the community of Ashby, led by American Legion Post 357. The names engraved are those who passed away in the local community.

The play on the video, “The Wall,” was written by Ed Milligan and performed by residents Gene Jensen, Steve and Sharon Anderson, Stephanie Anderson and Elaine Anderson.

Darla Ellingson of Battle Lake helped bring this exhibit to ITOW. Officially opening May 4, it has an open-ended run date.