The Bong Center is excited to announce that two new exhibits will be opening this week. Joe Gomer: Honoring a Legacy, a traveling exhibit from the St. Louis County Historical Society, will open on Tuesday, March 9. A permanent exhibit featuring the Korea and Vietnam Wars will open to the public on Thursday, March 11. “Both of these exhibits will expand the stories told at the Bong Center and provide visitors with some amazing stories,” stated Executive Director Dustin Heckman. “If you haven’t visited the Bong Center recently, we encourage you to make a trip and see these new exhibits.”
The 12 panel traveling exhibit is perfectly situated between the P-38 Lightning and Commemorative Tile Wall on the lower level. Gomer was part of the 99th Pursuit Squadron (later known as the 99th Fighter Squadron), which was formed in January 1941 in Tuskegee, Alabama. The pilots in that unit were nicknamed “the Tuskegee Airmen.” Following the war, Gomer and his family lived in Duluth, where he was involved in community activism and was committed to ensuring equal opportunities for people of color and women. This exhibit will be on view through October 31.
A new permanent exhibit featuring the Korea and Vietnam Wars will be located on the lower level at the foot of the southeast stairwell. This exhibit utilizes the stories of veterans from both conflicts to help the visitor understand the importance of both to American history. Learn about efforts to recover the remains of missing soldiers in Korea, walk into a communications hooch to learn the story of the Army Security Agency (ASA), and hear about the legacy of Vietnam as told by veterans today. An immersive experience will leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Be sure to see both exhibits soon and honor the stories of our Northland veterans!