Menominee County in northeastern Wisconsin has one of the highest per-capita rates of military service in the nation. A new initiative from the College of Menominee Nation’s S. Verna Fowler Academic Library and Menominee Public Library pays tribute to the many veterans in the community. Bryan Stevenson, Head of Special Collections at the College, invited veterans and their families — enrolled members of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin as well as local residents in Keshena, Shawano and the surrounding area — to lend photographs for scanning and for a short-term exhibition.
More than sixty submissions, many depicting men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, were displayed in the library in November and December 2014. The exhibit opened on November 12, the day after Veterans Day, with a public reception including a drum circle and an invocation prayer. The images have now been added to a digital collection, which the Library intends to expand as more contributions are received.
In addition to Stevenson’s outreach efforts and technology support, many hands contributed to the success of this ongoing project, including Jeanette Chevalier, Tom Tousey, John Teller, Irene Kiefer, Saul Sopoci Drake, the library staff and, of course, all of the vets and their families.