GREENVILLE — The Garst Museum invites the public to view the 2020 Veterans Day exhibit within the Lowell Thomas Meeting Room. Each year, Garst Museum unveils an exhibit that honors and recognizes the legacy of our country’s veterans and the sacrifices they made, and continue to make, in the name of our freedom. Traditionally, the opening of the Veterans Day exhibit is accompanied by a free program that delves into the interesting facets of the military service, life, and historical impact. Due to COVID-19, the program has been postponed until next year, but the exhibit will be revealed and open to the public starting Nov. 11.
This year’s exhibit brings deserved attention to a military uniform that bears a specific lapel pin or patch. The patch/pin is the Honorable Discharge insignia. This woven patch or pin was worn by military personnel who had fulfilled their duty and were returning home. Quite often, these new veterans, having been freshly released from their military obligations, had their service uniforms as their only form of clothing. By displaying the Honorable Discharge insignia, veterans vocalized to their superiors that they were homeward bound and, thus, permitted to continue wearing their service uniform.
The Honorable Discharge insignia was jokingly referred to by those in the military as the ‘Ruptured Duck.’ This nickname wasn’t meant as an insult but instead a playful interpretation of what the figure seemed to look like. Many in the military thought that the golden bird, which was intended to be an eagle, appeared to look more like a duck. Though affectionate nicknames accompanied this patch/pin, the Honorable Discharge emblem has continued to be a source of pride for those who have served. At the end of World War II, Major League Baseball allowed its returning players to wear the insignia on their official baseball uniforms. It also serves as the symbol on the metal flag holders that honor resting veterans in cemeteries.
The Garst Museum encourages all to remember those that serve and sacrifice to keep our freedom intact. The Veterans Day exhibit will be unveiled in the Lowell Thomas Meeting Room on Nov. 11 and is free to visit.
Regular admission will apply to tour the Garst Museum, which includes the outstanding National Annie Oakley Center and the Crossroads of Destiny, Lowell Thomas, Keepers of Freedom, and Longtown exhibits. Funding for this program was made possible by the Harry D. Stephens Memorial Foundation. Garst Museum is open Tues. through Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and masks are required.