TISHOMINGO — The photographic exhibit, "Remember Our Fallen" will be on display April 23-26 at Murray State College. The Tishomingo sixth grade 4-H club sponsors the event. The exhibit features Oklahoma servicemen who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the nation since Sept. 11, 2001.
A special opening ceremony is slated for 6 p.m., Tuesday in Fletcher Auditorium. Col. Doug Elliott will be the guest speaker. The exhibit will officially go on display from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. that evening and will be on display from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. over the following three days.
Another special program honoring veterans and troops will be at 7 p.m., April 25 at Fletcher Auditorium. The program will honor the servicemen in the exhibit; their families and tribute will be paid to veterans and troops who have served past and present. Photographs of local and area veterans will also be on display.
Local legislators are also expected to attend the event. The program will include a quilt giveaway and a check presentation to organizers of a project to build a new Johnston County Veterans Center in Tishomingo. Funds were raised from the "Support-A-Soldier…Dog-gone-it" event in October. Donations made to the club in support of the event will help pay for the memorial exhibits, picture display, postage, promotion and "Patriotic Packages" and items for troops serving overseas, as well as expenses related to the project's creation.
"We had a big dog show to benefit the veteran's center," Julie Carroll, club sponsor, said. "We had 700 people attend. Coincidentally, the exhibit was on display in Ardmore and I went to see it. I made a call and reserved the exhibit and it has gotten real big."
Carroll has gone to great lengths to honor those that are featured in the exhibit and capture the essence of what it is about.
"I went to bed last night at 5 a.m.," she said Wednesday afternoon. "There is a lot of preparation involved. We are also having a big boot display. We managed to get 117 pairs of boots to honor the soldiers and will place those at the courthouse. There will also be 117 empty chairs at the college to honor the soldiers."
The exhibit is a project of the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum in Hobart. In conjunction with the event, the museum will offer classes to local schools and Murray State students as well as make the traveling museum available to the public during the same hours as the exhibit.
"It is kind of surreal," Carroll said. "It is a good community project. It is also nice to be known as a patriotic community."
The Johnston County Capital Democrat contributed to this story.