SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — “It is a platform for people to say thank you for all of our veterans, especially world war one, because it’s its 100th anniversary.” Keith Colley, curator of the ‘Lest We Forget’ Mobile Museum, said.
It takes Keith Colley 10 hours to set up the ‘Lest We Forget’ Mobile Museum exhibit. But he says the hours spent getting it ready for the public are worth it in order to pass the stories from World War I and World War II along.
“If we forget what our guys and gals have done over the years, to give us our freedom. Then it was all done in vain. We can’t forget. And that’s why it’s called the ‘Lest We Forget Museum’,” Colley said.
Gary Nelson is from Virginia. He stopped in for the one day event at Steamtown National Historic site on his way to visit his daughter in Maine. He says it’s critical that people of all ages learn about our history.
“I think this is a wonderful exhibit so folks can see the intricacies of warfare, they can see the tragedy of warfare, they can see the humanity of warfare, and hopefully learn to not repeat it,” Nelson said.
Organizers say the ‘Lest We Forget’ Mobile Museum has been to over 20 States and has had over 200,000 visitors.
Colley works with Alzheimers patients, and started the museum after interacting with a patient who had been in World War II. He says he had to engage as many senses as he could in order to touch the memories the patients are losing.
“So I went online and found a shovel in Bulgaria that was used to dig trenches. And when I bought it I took it I placed it in his hands and he started crying. And the stories started flowing. ”
From that one shovel, Colley’s collection grew , which now makes up the museum. One exhibit even has a special tie to Pennsylvania, featuring the story of Jacob “Pappy” Stevens, who was a runner in World War I.
“A majority of the runners were killed, but he came home a hero. So we’re real excited to have Jacob Stevens kind of the heart of our museum. And we’re right here in his home state,” Colley said.
For the ‘Lest We Forget’ Mobile Museum’s next stops, you can check out it’s website.