MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — This Memorial Day, the Alabama Department of Archives and History looks back at the many ways Alabamians have served their country.
“From the beginning of our inception as an agency, one of our primary missions has been to document the service of Alabamians,” said Steve Murray, director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Murray says that since 1901, the museum has collected and maintained materials that document Alabama’s service history.
“We have uniforms, weapons and mess kits, canteens, whatever helps to understand what that experience is like,” Murray said.
With these articles, Murray says those who did not serve or were not alive during this time can better understand the sacrifices made.
“It’s something that’s hard for us to imagine how difficult it can be. But we can, I think, by understanding the history of the service, understand and appreciate more the commitment of people who are willing to serve our country in uniform, and very often put their lives on the line,” Murray said.
From steelmaking in Birmingham to shipbuilding in Mobile, Murray says every part of the state and every walk of life played a part in the service.
“One of the things that’s important to remember on Memorial Day and always is that people, whether rich or poor, urban or rural, black or white, have a long history of service. to Alabamians,” Murray said.
Although the museum is closed on this holiday, you can use their website database to find records of Alabama soldiers in your family who fought in the Civil War and World War I.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that Alabama has more than 370,000 veterans living in the state.
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