All veterans along with their families in this area are invited to attend the opening celebration of
War Stories, the newest exhibit at the Belton Train Depot. The event is scheduled for Sunday, April 24,
from 3 to 5 PM.
In addition to a recognition ceremony, several ancillary activities have been planned. The BHP
JAFROTC Color Guard will begin the program with the presentation of colors, and Cadet Ronald Webber
will perform military drills with his rifle. This presentation will be followed by a short concert of patriotic
Several military organizations will be offering interesting presentations throughout the opening
reception. The SC National Guard will be on the lawn with some armored military vehicles. People can
sit in the vehicles and ask the guardsmen about their military experiences. The US Army will conduct a
short program about the changes in military uniforms and gear over the last century and the US Navy
will provide a video presentation followed by a preview of the video documentary about hometown boy
and naval officer Stan Marshall who launched the rescue of future President John F. Kennedy after his
PT109 was torpedoed in the Pacific during WWII.
Visitors can view the exhibit, which memorializes our local military history from the
Revolutionary War to the present day Afghan War. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a WWII Army jeep,
surrounded by war trophies, military uniforms from 20th and 21st century wars, memorabilia, letters, and
home front artifacts. The Local American Legion Post 51 members will be dispersed among the displays
to share stories about their wartime service.
A Red Cross quilt, pieced together by Belton women to support the troops during WWI, is also
on display. This 100-year old-artifact was never completed, but it lists the names of Belton citizens who
paid a $1to have their signatures added to the fundraising quilt. BAMA is selling identical quilt squares
and the ability to have modern day names added for $5 per name. These squares will be sewn together
by folk artist Maree Dowdy of the SC State Museum and the completed quilt will become part of the
permanent military display in the Ruth Drake Museum.
As part of the “War Stories” exhibit, seventeen veterans from several conflicts have been
interviewed for the Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project. These interviews are being
transcribed and made into documentary films by ASD2 5th graders. The documentary films will be shown
at a Red Carpet Premiere on Tuesday, May 24, at the depot.
“War Stories” is being presented by the Belton Area Museum Association and is sponsored by
the City of Belton HTAX and Anderson County ATAX.
For more information contact Executive Director Kathy Benson at the museum 864-338-7400.
The exhibit will be on display until June 11 during normal hours Wednesday and Thursday 9 – 2; Friday 9
– 4; Saturday 9 – 1; or by appointment.