Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum Honors “Spirit of Michigan’s Own” Award Winners
Did you know there’s a museum in Frankenmuth solely dedicated to Michigan’s military and space heroes?
Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum is unique in that it’s one of the only museums in the country dedicated to soldiers and space travelers from a single state. Over 700 exhibits are devoted to Michigan soldiers, marines, sailors and Air Force personnel.
On Saturday, April 29, the museum will hold its first ever “Spirit of Michigan’s Own” awards to honor, respect, and remember Michigan’s heroes. Inaugural honorees are recent Medal of Honor recipient, retired Lt. Col Charles Kettles from Ypsilanti, who served in the Army in Vietnam, and Stan Bozich, a Navy veteran who founded the museum 40 years ago. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a financial supporter of the awards ceremony, which is sold out.
“Memories must be fed,” is the museum’s creed and it does that by telling the personal tale of each service member it has memorabilia to display, much of it painstakingly collected by Bozich.
Exhibits don’t focus on weaponry, battles or wartime strategy, but rather on the people who came from Michigan farms, offices and factories to fight for their country. All service people represented with displays contain personal artifacts such as their uniform, any earned medals and their service dates and experiences.
“When you read these stories, it makes you appreciate that individual a little bit more,” said Bozich in a 2011 interview, of which excerpts will be shown at the awards ceremony.
Some of the displays contain pictures of the men and women who served in their later years, attesting to a life well lived. Others, sadly, only have faded photographs of young veterans, their lives cut short serving their homeland.
The museum’s extended creed summarizes why the museum is an important stop for any Michigan history buff.
“The displays at MMSHM reflect the adventures and tragedies of the soldiers who, without these exhibits, might have otherwise been forgotten.”
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Photo credit: Beverly & Pack