New information panels describing the Casualty Notification System, military memorial ceremonies overseas and the rendering of Full Military Honors for funerals back home have been added to the Museum’s “Faces of the Fallen” exhibit in time for Memorial Day 2012.
The New York State Military Museum is the only place where members of the general public can see the portraits and names of Fallen New York Soldiers from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The exhibit features 32 members of the New York Army National Guard who died during the period of 2003 to the present. Now the public can learn more about the casualty reporting process and what actually happens when a service member is killed. The upgraded exhibit is one of many new changes that are taking place at the Military Museum.
“This is the first Memorial Day that this exhibit has been up here at the Military Museum,” said Museum curator Courtney Burns. The exhibit was put up last August when the 9-11 response, Iraq and Afghanistan exhibits were installed in time for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001. Portraits and tributes to these Fallen Guard members can be found at the state headquarters and at armories and readiness centers around the state where Guard units are based. The public rarely, if ever, gets to view them at these sites.
“We feel that this exhibit is absolutely necessary and in keeping with our public mission,” said Burns. “These 31 men and one woman all died since this Museum was first opened. They were members of New York units that were mobilized, deployed and engaged in combat operations during this current and ongoing period of conflict. And because members of the military represent so much smaller a percentage of the population we feel it’s both a duty and privilege to present this exhibit,” he added.
Burns designed, created and installed two information panels that are meant to add to visitors understanding and will help accent an appreciation of the cost of war. With imagery and information provided by the New York National Guard, the panels can now offer some insight into the “back story” that is present with each and every Fallen service member, their family and comrades.