Our latest project is off and running! The goal is to fly, at no cost to themsleves and the support personnel, a group of 100 Blount County veterans of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Application forms for both veterans and supporting Guardians are now available.The cadre for this undertaking, designated the Lone Eagle Flight2020, has formulated the requirements for participation. Veterans will be chosen on a "first come, first serve" basis. A veteran who has served in World War II or has been diagnosed as being in a terminal condition will automatically be placed at the head of the list.
The forms may be downloaded; note that a copy of the veteran's DD214 must accompany the application. Guardian applicants must provide a copy of a valid photo ID (drivers's license, passport personal data pages, other recognized ID). Eligibility for being a guardian is be in good health, be an EMT or equivalent, medical doctor, nurse, medical technician, or physical therapist.
The flight date is Thursday, September 24, 2020. The group will depart Oneonta aproximately 6:00am, amd return approximately 10:30pm. A more detailed itinerary will be available soon. Please note that both dates and times may be changed according to the dictates of the airline and weather.
In addition to visiting the Memorials in Washington, there will be a stop at Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard ritual.
This is a challenging project, and the initial response so far has been great. Of course, we are asking for contributions ( we already have received numersous donations (all deductible, of course). We're offering the opportunity for individuals and businesses to sponsor a veteran with a gift of $1000.00.
Freedom Bridge Dedication...
A show of patriotism took place in Blount County on Monday, March 24th, as more than 100 community members and veterans' groups came together to dedicate a new bridge over Difficulty Creek on County Highway 27. Although it was a rainy, blustery day, that did not stop people from paying tribute to our Blount County veterans. Several state and national leaders were also in the crowd, including Governor Kay Ivey.
"We know freedom is not free and we're here to honor the men and women who served in the military and also pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Freedom is our treasure and to keep it, we must protect it and that means we must defend it." said Governor Ivey.
The Freedom Bridge reopened less than two months after construction began in 2019. While it is in memorial of all veterans, it was inspired by one local hero, SSGT Forrest Sibley. "His dedication and sacrifice in the Afghanistan war gave us the inspiration to name it the Freedom Bridge," said Blount County Commissioner Dean Calvert. Sibley dwas killed in Afghanistan in August of 2015 after his vehicle was attacked.
"The Freedom Bridge is freedom for all the wars that we' ve been to and it underscores the fact that freedom is not free. It is protected by the price that men and women in the military service pay," said Governor Ivey. Sibley graduated from Appalachian High School in Oneonta.
Online Payments Coming
In response to requests & suggestions, the BCHA Board has approved the collection of dues and sales payments online. PayPal® has been approved as the vehicle of choice. It is a recognized and secure means for online transactions. A listing of items for sale by the Museum is being prepared and will also be available online for the convenience of our patrons.
See Our Displays
The displays are being up–dated, including this one provided by Stanley Moss. It is whimsical and is a novel use of packaging foam material. Drop by and see what else is new.
Visit the BCMM Facebook Page
We have an active group of FaceBook® followers, and we invite everyone to drop in from time to time. It's also a source of additional information about the early families who settled Blount County, as well of the County's history and heritage.