On November 1, 2018 construction will begin on the new St. Charles County Veterans Museum, located at 410 E. Elm Street in O’Fallon MO. This museum is the dream of Ralph Barrale, a World War II Veteran. Barrale, who landed on Utah Beach in Normandy and fought at the Battle of the Bulge with General Patton, was with the first troops to liberate Dachau, the oldest concentration camp in Germany. Barrale has a number of accomplishments on his resume. He successfully lobbied the state to name the Highway 364 Bridge Veterans Memorial Bridge. He later lobbied St. Charles County municipalities to rename the South Service Road to Veterans Memorial Parkway.
“We hope to open our museum in April of 2019” says Renee Essary, an Executive Board member. “Our plans go well beyond the building. Our design for the grounds include: Veterans Family Healing Gardens, The Grove – a shaded picnic area with a dry creek and Seabee Tribute bridge, Heroes Walk, Veterans Memorial Pavers and much more. We’re not only designing a museum to honor St. Charles County Veterans, we’re also creating a park-like setting that people from all around can enjoy,” Essary continued.
The museum’s mission statement is: “Inspiring, informing, and engaging the residents of St. Charles County to honor the memories of County Veterans who served the United States of America with patriotic valor.”
Every veteran has a story. We are reaching out to veterans and their families to preserve those stories. Stories can be shared through a uniform, photos, medals or other military or wartime memorabilia — items that bring those stories to life–stories of a veteran’s life and his service to our country–stories that should be told and passed along to future generations. Ralph’s hope is that visitors to the museum will leave saying, “Wow, what a place!”
“Right now, we’re out there looking for a little help to make Ralph’s dream a reality” says Jim Higgins, another member of the Executive Board. “We are visiting home improvement stores, contractors, department stores, and other suppliers for building supplies and/or funds.” Higgins continued, “We cannot do this without support from our community. This is a great opportunity to be at the forefront of this important community effort. So far, the response has been tremendous! We’re also looking for sponsors.”
The St. Charles County Veterans Museum has been Ralph’s dream for many years. His vision and passion is now finally becoming a reality. With your help, we can make this dream come true. Want to know more? Would you like to help? Visit us at: www.stcharlescountyveteransmuseum.com
The St. Charles County Veterans Museum is a 501C tax exempt, non-profit organization.