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Nebraska National Guard Museum

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 10:51 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A special attraction in the community of Seward continues to offer new exhibits and experiences for visitors in Nebraska’s Fourth of July city.

We visited with Jerry Meyer, who is the executive director at the Nebraska National Guard Museum to learn about what’s happening there. “This museum moved out to Seward in 2014,” Meyer said. “We’ve added a lot since then. There are classrooms and exhibits. One of the first things you’ll see outside is our “Prairie Trails”, which is our memorial to the Nebraska Air National Guard, which was founded in 1946. The company called ‘Hughes Brothers’ here in Seward created this beautiful memorial, and again it’s one of those things that we just really like. The sculpture represents the six aircraft that have been flown since 1946.” Also out front, you’ll see a Sherman tank that was actually in battle in France in World War II. When you come in, there is a plane hanging from the ceiling that was flown in 1915 and 1916 by one of the very early aviators in the military.

“I served 32 years in the National Guard on active duty,” Meyer said. “On my last deployment to Afghanistan, this position opened, and was able to get it. It’s a passion. I taught high school history in Columbus. One of our class projects was the Andrew Jackson Higgins Memorial there. I just enjoy big projects.”

A unique feature at the Nebraska National Guard Museum is the William Jennings Bryan statue that until recently stood in Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. “We were in the right place at the right time,” Meyer said. “The statue was being changed out for Chief Standing Bear. The National Guard Society felt this would be a good spot for it. Why? Because he was a colonel in the Nebraska National Guard.”

The museum works hard in the areas of educational outreach. “That’s probably one of our biggest platforms is what we do for students in the state of Nebraska,” Meyer said. “We are extremely pleased to have the museum here in Seward. It’s been a great move out here in 2014, and we are celebrating our 5th year anniversary, and now we are planning for the next five years. In the next five years, we are looking at maybe expanding. We have more than 11,000 items. You can’t display everything, but in order to show some of our bigger things, we’ve got to have more room.”

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