By Lisa Carolin
It was symbolic that the WW l Centennial ribbon cutting at the Chelsea District Library July 30 was held in the McKune Room, named after Herbert Joseph McKune, the only soldier from Chelsea who died in World War I.
Lima Township Supervisor Craig Maier, a veteran of Vietnam, did the honor of cutting the ribbon with Deb Greer, co-director of the Chelsea River Gallery, who inspired the project, along with Chelsea Mayor Jason Lindauer, and Keegan Sulecki, head of Adult Services at the library, looking on.
Following a performance of the WWl song “In Flanders Fields”, Lindauer spoke of the deeds and sacrifices of those who served 100 years ago.
“We will explore the stories leading to Armistice Day, Nov. 11,” he said.
The exhibit includes a trunk and artifacts on the library’s second floor from Lindauer’s grandfather, George Alfred Lindauer, who served in WW l.
“This exhibit is my thank you card to Chelsea,” said Greer. “My wish would be that you gaze at these banners and see yourself and where you came from.”
River Gallery and the Chelsea District Library curated WW l-era photographs, letters, stories and artifacts from local residents, and a selection of the photographs are exhibited in an outdoor art installation of banners throughout downtown Chelsea.
Displays of WW l artifacts including a sword, gas mask, helmets, medals and more will be on display at the library until Nov. 11.
Grants from the Michigan Humanities Council and the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce Tourism Action Plan Program helped fund the exhibit along with support from the Chelsea American Legion Post 31.
To see more stories and photos, go to www.storiesofchelsea.org.