Up & Coming Weekly

November 03, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 4-10, 2020 UCW 11 Airborne & Special Operations Museum Reopens by KEYURI PARAB e Airborne & Special Operations Museum is again open to the public and of- fers two exhibits. e 13th Annual Field of Honor exhibit went up Oct. 3 and will be up for display until Nov 30., and the GWOT Memorial Flag exhibit opened Oct 13., and will run until Dec. 6. e Field of Honor exhibit, in partnership with Cool Springs Downtown Dis- trict, showcases 500 flags on display at the ASOM field, said Abbie Cashel, donor relations and event coordinator for ASOM Foundation. "Each flag comes with a story, each dedicated to someone whether it be a ser- vice member, a veteran and this year we actually opened it up to personal heroes, people that made a positive experience during COVID-19 or just in general," she said. e tag on each flag identifies who the flag represents and honoree information. "We are really excited that we sold out this year, all 500 flags, that was incred- ible, all the great community support," Cashel said. e flags sold out for $35 each which will may motivate the museum to have more slots available next year. "A lot of people come from all over to view their loved ones' flags, it acts as a memorial for people and they also use it to honor their loved ones and their ser- vice and that's what makes it really special in the community," she said. "It's just a really peaceful, respectful place to view a hero." e Global War on Terror Memorial Flag is 28 feet wide and 6 feet tall and designed by Veterans Athletes United. e design symbolizes the shape of a flag when draped on a fallen service member's casket. About 7,000 dog tags form the flag, belonging to those killed in the War on Ter- ror. e 50 gold stars on the flag represent all Gold Star families across the nation. Displayed in front of the flag is a battlefield cross sculpted from mahogany wood by female veteran artist Alicia Dietz. e tags are in alphabetical order ranging from Sept. 11, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2019, the tags are in chronological order of the date the service member was killed in action. "It's a really cool piece that we have had up before and a lot of people came, it's just another exhibit that allows people to honor and remember their loved ones," Cashel said. e GWOT exhibit is free to the public but the museum welcomes a $5 donation. e museum is preparing for its next feature, the Ghost Army Exhibit :e Combat Con Artists of World War II , which will open to the public Dec. 15 and be on display until April 25, 2021. e exhibit will highlight the story of the 23rd Headquarters Special Group, the first mobile, multimedia, tactical deception unit in U.S. Army history. e top secret, unique "Ghost Army" was composed of 82 officers and 1,023 men and was activated Jan. 20, 1944, under the command of Colonel Harry L. Reeder. e group was successfully capable of simulating two whole divisions, approxi- mately 30,000 men by using visual, sonic and radio deception to fool German forces during the final year of World War II. For more information on the exhibit visit https://www.asomf.org/event/ghost- army-the-combat-con-artists-of-world-war-ii/ e museum is open Tuesday to Friday, from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. e ASOM is using a reservation system that helps keep capacity level in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, but people can walk in and sign in at the front desk, Cashel said. ASOM first opened its doors in 2000, and celebrates its 20th year anniversary this year, although many of the planned events were postponed due to COVID-19 and will hopefully be rescheduled for next year, she said. "It's really a place for people to come and learn about Airborne and Special Operations and their history," Cashel said. "Entry is free, so pretty much every- one in the community does have a chance to come and look and learn and en- gage with the history of past soldiers that paved the way for modern day soldiers." Visit https://www.asomf.org for more information about the museum. (Above) e GWOT Memorial Flag is made of about 7,000 dog tags identifying those killed in service. (Below) e 13th Annual Field of Honor will be on display until Nov. 30. (Photos by Dylan Hooker) KEYURI PARAB, Editorial Assistant COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com 910-484-6200. EVENT

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