Friday, March 25, 2011

National Infantry Museum to Host Gulf War 20th Anniversary National Tribute May 26 to Honor Service Members Who Lost Lives in Decisive Military Action

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Infantry Museum located outside Fort Benning in Columbus, GA, will host a Gulf War Twentieth Anniversary National Tribute to the men and women killed in service during the Gulf War, on Thursday, May 26, leading off Memorial Day Weekend, from 9-11 a.m. The event will feature laying commemorative granite paved stones to each of the dead during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and will include participation by the top service commanders from the conflict. Families and unit members will attend and thousands are expected.

"We won rapidly in the Gulf War, but more than 400 men and women gave their lives," says Col. Greg Camp (Ret), Executive Vice President of the National Infantry Foundation. Infantry Foundation Chairman Lieutenant General Carmen Cavezza added, "This event is a long overdue national tribute to the sacrifices our military heroes made to enable a clear victory by the United States and coalition forces. This will be the first official recognition of all Gulf War men and women who died in service."

The National Infantry Museum and Foundation is seeking information from families and unit members of the 408 service members killed in the Gulf War to include at the event. All are invited to come. Persons with information or photos of the 408 are asked to send them to Cyndy Cerbin at or contact her. "We want families and friends to feel that this is home for recognition of their heroes," said Ben Williams, Executive Director of National Infantry Foundation.

The event's emcee will be retired Four-Star General Barry R. McCaffrey, a division commander in the Gulf War. The top Air Force and Navy commanders in the Gulf War have already indicated participation; Gen. Charles Horner (Ret), and Admiral Stanley Arthur (Ret), as well as LtGen. William M. Keys, USMC (Ret.), who commanded the 2nd Marine Division in the Gulf War. Other leaders from all branches are expected. In addition to the stone pavers and speeches, a military honor guard will march. Taps will be played following the unveiling of the stones and the raising of a new, special, dedicated flag for the Gulf War.

McCaffrey stated, "The Gulf War was a decisive military action. Anyone who comes to the Infantry Museum and sees the powerful exhibits from all of America's wars will understand how appropriate it is that the Gulf War commemoration be hosted here. As a participant in the Gulf War, I am proud that America is giving recognition to those who served and died for their country."

In addition to the May 26 main events, media are invited to a reception with VIP's the night before (time TBD) at the National Infantry Museum and will have the opportunity for advance one-on-one interviews.

In partnership with the Army and the Maneuver Center of Excellence, the Gulf War ceremony will be a special event included at the conclusion of the graduation of a company of new Infantry School soldiers, a powerful message of continuity for the graduates.

For planning purposes, Columbus' airport is served by Delta and American Airlines, or media may wish to fly to Atlanta and rent a car or take a shuttle to Columbus, which has many hotels. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International airport (ATL) is approximately an hour drive from the National Infantry Museum, and Columbus Airport (CSG) is a twenty minute drive.

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, a 200-acre tract linking Columbus, Georgia, and Fort Benning, the Home of the Infantry , is the first world-class site to pay tribute to the U.S. Army Infantryman and those who fight alongside him. As the only interactive Army Museum in the United States, the museum showcases the contributions of the Infantry Soldier in every war fought by the U.S. by offering immersive participation and engaging visitors in the unique experiences of the Infantry Soldier. The complex also includes a parade field, memorial walk of honor, authentic World War II Company Street and 3-D IMAX® Theatre. For more information, visit .

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Georgia State Archives Threatened with Closure

Editor Note:  Oh my! So many genealogists and lovers of history visit the Georgia Archives each day to further their research.  Please let your legislative representative hear from you about keeping the doors open.

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

The following is an open letter from the Friends of the Georgia Archives and History Chair, Virginia Shadron, concerning legislation currently being debated in the Georgia Legislature. Please forward this to anyone you think would be interested in supporting the Archives.

The Fiscal Year 2012 budget that passed the Georgia House of Representatives on March 11 as HB 78 includes budget reductions that could result in the State Archives closing its doors to the public.

The budget contains two items that together would reduce the Archives’ budget by at least $300,000.

The Archives’ base budget, after preceding budget cuts, is $4,643,588. Over 65% of that goes to pay fixed costs (such as rent) that cannot be reduced. The current bill proposes an additional cut in “personal services and … savings from reduced hours …” in the amount of $260,458. The second way in which the Archives’ budget is eroded is that the House budget does not fund the annual increase in the Archives’ rent, an amount of more than $40,000 for FY12.

Altogether, the additional cuts to personal services and the failure to fund the rent increase means that the Archives’ sustains a critical $300,000 in cuts. You might wonder, “What is the fuss about?” That shortfall can come from one place only—and that is staff.

Without intervention the Archives will almost certainly be forced to close its doors to the public, reduce scanning operations and preservation activities, and eliminate most transfers of records from state agencies—the records that protect Georgia financially and legally.

The House version of the budget now goes to the Senate for adjustment and passage. Call and write your state senator immediately and ask that a minimum of $300,000 be restored to the Archives budget! Go to and click on "Find Your Legislator" to find your senator.

- Virginia Shadron

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dali Exhibit at Hillel Center Commemorates Jewish History

A set of limited-edition lithographs by Spanish realist Salvador Dali will be exhibited at the Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University from its March 17 opening through June.

Entitled “Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel,” the little-known suite portraying the epic history of the Jewish diaspora and the return to the homeland was a gift to Emory professor David Blumenthal from his wife, Ursula, commemorating their first date.

On that date in 1965, the couple went to see an exhibit of Dali’s paintings at the Huntington Hartford Museum in New York. 

Blumenthal, the Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies in Emory’s Department of Religion, also curated the “Aliyah” exhibit. 

The original “Aliyah” works took two years for Dali to complete, and were commissioned by Shorewood Publishers, a New York firm noted for art publications.

After its grand opening at the Huntington Hartford Museum’s Gallery of Modern Art in New York on April 1, 1968, 250 sets of 25 lithographs each were produced and then the stones were destroyed, ensuring that there would be no more reprints; the Blumenthal’s (No. 150) is the only known set in Atlanta.

For the Hillel exhibit, Blumenthal has organized the lithographs—all of which are signed and many of them dated—historically and thematically. A favorite section is the four iconic images of exile and hope: “A Voice is heard in Ramah,” “The Wailing Wall,” “For it is thy life and the length of thy days” and “Return, O virgin of Israel.”

“The Hebrew word ‘aliyah’ means ‘ascent.’ In later Hebrew, it was broadened to mean ‘to ascend to the land of Israel,’ ” says David Blumenthal. “After centuries of oppression in the exile, ‘aliyah’ is a commitment to the rebirth of the Jewish people, to the renaissance of the Jewish spirit, in its own space.”

The set of 25 colored prints was kept in its original box and stored safely under the couple’s piano for nearly 30 years, until Ursula Blumenthal had the idea of displaying the series in honor of Emory’s new Marcus Hillel Center, which opened last September.

“I am so glad it’s here where it can be seen and appreciated,” she says.

The exhibit is sponsored in part by the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast, Emory University Office of the President, the Emory Center for Creativity and the Arts’ David Goldwasser Series in Religion and the Arts, the Blonder Family Foundation, Shirley Blaine, the Cohen Chair of Judaic Studies, and the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies.

An audio tour, narrated by Blumenthal, is available for free download via iTunes U on iPod Touch or iPhone. Visitors can check out iPods at the Marcus Hillel Center reception desk.

For more information visit Hillel at Emory.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

With Only $12 Million to Goal, National Center for Civil and Human Rights to Break Ground in Fall

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Center) today announced that its capital campaign has raised more than $73 million to date, including a new $1 million grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Officials confirmed the Center is on track to raise the remaining $12 million to construct and open the debt-free Center and will break ground this fall.

"The Center held firmly to its guiding principles and will deliver a majority self-sustaining facility and world-class experience for all to enjoy," said Doug Shipman, CEO of the Center. "We are thankful for the support of local and national funders who see the importance of a human rights institution. Thanks to their contributions, the Center is on track to complete its fund raising within six years compared to the 13-year average to build a cultural institution. Partners like the Blank Foundation help fuel momentum to bring us closer to groundbreaking, inspiring individuals and corporate citizens to make similar commitments."

The goal to break ground is $85 million. The Center will now prepare to launch the public capital campaign this spring and establish an annual fund after groundbreaking.

Established in 1995 and based in Atlanta, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation joins prominent philanthropic and corporate partners of the Center, including The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot Foundation, Newell Rubbermaid, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and The UPS Foundation.

"The National Center for Civil and Human Rights' efforts to foster interactive discussions on global human rights issues have never been more needed," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "Atlanta's history positions it perfectly to serve as the future home of the Center and play this role worldwide. We are proud to help bring the project closer to reality."


The Center unveiled today the construction-ready design, which makes the design competition-winning plans workable on the site at Pemberton Place. The Freelon Group of Research Triangle, N.C. and partner HOK of Atlanta worked closely with Center leadership, exhibit designer Gallagher & Associates and project manager Cousins Properties/Gude Management Group to finalize the facility's design. The state-of-the-art, LEED certified building will take 24 months to construct and is slated to open in 2013 in Downtown Atlanta adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, The New World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.


The Center has named Jill Savitt human rights exhibition coordinator. A renowned human rights advocate with extensive expertise in genocide prevention, Savitt currently serves as a special advisor for the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Savitt will help establish interactivity and relevance between the historical and contemporary human rights issues presented through the Center's educational exhibitions. She joins chief creative officer George C. Wolfe on the exhibition team working to bring civil and human rights to life in the displays and interactive installations.

The Center will feature permanent and rotating collections, timely exhibitions and interactive education opportunities to engage visitors in the historical and current struggles people across the world experience in securing and expressing their rights.

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