Exhibit focuses on 9/11 response and war on terror

A new exhibit opening at the New York State Military Museum follows the state's soldiers from the af

A new exhibit opening at the New York State Military Museum follows the state’s soldiers from the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The exhibit , which opens Sept. 9, is called “Today’s New York National Guard and the War on Terror.”

The military museum is located at 61 Lake Ave. in Saratoga Springs. Admission is free. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon until 4 p.m. Sundays. The museum and veterans research center are closed on Tuesdays,

“The exhibit discusses the deployment and service of the New York National Guard from 2003 through 2008,” said Michael Aikey, museum director.

Aikey said the New York National Guard of today is much different from the guard of the 1960s and 1970s.

“Back then, most guardsmen could expect to do summer drill and maybe a snowstorm emergency,” Aikey said,

“But now these units are serving overseas, sometimes two and three tours of duty,” Aikey said.

Courtney Burns, the museum’s chief curator, said there will be some artifacts from the National Guard’s work in New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but much more material, including video, on the guard’s deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

One wall of the new exhibit displays “The Faces of the Fallen,” photos and short stories about the 30 New York National Guard soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the War on Terror.

Museum officials say the new exhibit will be the museum’s first fully modern military exhibit , “marking not only the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks but also covering historic operations, which continue today.”

“More than 4,000 New York National Guard troops are scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq over the next year,” says a statement about the exhibit .

All of the artifacts come from the large collection of the state military museum. There will be a mannequin dressed in the current uniform of a soldier equipped for combat in Afghanistan or Iraq, including body armor now worn.

“Our exhibit will be tailored and will be a fitting tribute to this generation of New York warriors and those who support them,” Burns said.

The artifacts include a marble slab from a palace in Afghanistan that Osama bin Laden had used as a hiding place in 2006.

Some of the informational panels in the new exhibit come from the Citizen Soldier exhibit that was recently on display at the New York State Museum in Albany.

Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, who recently retired from his position as chief public information officer for the New York National Guard and the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs, donated some of the high-definition videos he filmed while in Afghanistan for most of 2008.

He was a public affairs officer for the guard’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team there and is currently a volunteer at the museum.

Fanning said the exhibit discusses the combat role played by the New York National Guard as well as the guard’s humanitarian efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Sept. 11, 2001, material includes video of the guard’s Operation Noble Eagle that included homeland defense after the terrorist attacks at subway stations in Manhattan and the state Military Academy at West Point, according to curator Burns.

One of the exhibits is the uniform worn by Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, who was once commander of the guard’s 42nd Division in Iraq and later adjutant general of the New York National Guard. Taluto also headed the state’s Division of Military and Naval Affairs, which operates the military museum and veterans research center in Saratoga Springs.

The military museum houses more than 10,000 artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to the present that relate to New York state’s military forces, the state’s military history and the contributions of New York’s veterans.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply