Pastor Knox Herndon has a lifetime of experience in ministry, currently serving as an Assistant Pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. With his latest project he hopes to spread the appreciation of the history of U.S. wars and remind visitors to his museum that freedom isn’t free.
The museum he’s assembled includes war memorabilia from the American Revolution all the way through to the modern “War on Terror.” In addition to providing history the museum has another useful feature: it’s mobile. Pulled along by a pick-up truck, the “American Values Traveling Museum in War & Peace” can be called upon for events in the metro Atlanta area.
Herndon, himself a Retired Army Chaplain with 30 years of military experience, says children in particular are not properly taught to appreciate the sacrifices of military service members past and present.
“I don’t think the kids appreciate today all the thousands that died for freedom,” Herndon says.
He says he has been in talks with the Fayette and Coweta school districts about offering his museum for teachers and students to take advantage of.
Most of the collection within the museum was built up over decades by Herndon. He remembers the earliest moment when he became interested in collecting war memorabilia. His father, also a veteran who served in WWII and the Korean War, came home from his tour in Korea with his gear, including his ruck sack.
“He had all this stuff,” Herndon remembers of looking through his father’s military items, “I don’t know, I was hooked.”
He says his father was the first glider chaplain in WWII as a member of the 88th Glider Infantry Regiment. He quibbles with historical inaccuracies that glider units in that war faced over 50-percent casualty rates, but the risk was still very high, making his father the type of man he hopes to honor with his museum.
“Very brave men,” he says of those who served in the glider units.
Herndon says he’s already drawn some interest from the school systems, though he’s still in those discussions. He encourages anyone interested in booking the museum to do so early, especially around dates of patriotic holidays.
He gives credit to his friend John Romph, a Vietnam veteran, for helping him work on getting the museum ready. He also credits Charlie and Troy French.
“They helped me immeasurably on the museum. These are the kind of guys, there’s just no task they can’t do,” Herndon says.
To find out more about the American Values Traveling Museum in War & Peace, to book an appearance or to donate to the effort, call 678-665-3623.