On this Memorial Day, people across Iowa and nationwide are honoring the valiant men and women who’ve fought for the freedoms we enjoy. A small museum honoring veterans will be opening for the first time today in the north-central Iowa community of Williams. Connie Wahlert, of Williams, says the facility will be dedicated to veterans past and present.

Wahlert says she got the idea for a museum while she attended a reunion with her husband, saw the collection of things other people were displaying and decided to dig out her husband’s military gear. Also, when her mother died, Wahlert got all of her late father’s Army belongings. From there, Wahlert decided to start creating a collection of memorabilia to honor veterans.

She said the Legion building on Main Street in Williams was sitting empty and contained some display cases so she got permission to start the museum and began collecting items from area veterans.

Wahlert says the collection is really taking shape. There’s an area for prisoners of war, a Killed In Action table full of pictures of veterans who died in battle, all sorts of uniforms on mannequins, and other items displayed ranging from medals to canteens.

The Williams Veterans Museum will be open from 1 to 3 PM today and there are plans to open the museum during the community’s Independence Day observance on July 5th as well as for other occasions. For more information, call (515) 854-2428. Williams is located in north-central Iowa’s Hamilton County, just east of Interstate 35.

Thanks to Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City