LONG ISLAND - From the outside, it’s a replica of the Rocky Point train station. The beams are originally from the late 1800s. But inside, there’s no place for seats or sales. Instead, the 800 sq ft building will house history from the Revolutionary War through the present day.
Vietnam vet Joe Cognitore has always dreamed of opening a museum. It sits across the street from Post 6249 where he’s been a longtime member.
Curator Rich Acritelli who served in the Army reserves and Air National Guard helped turn his dream a reality.
Hundreds of artifacts and heirlooms will be showcased throughout the museum.
"Uniforms, weapons, knives," Acritelli said. "We have stuff from the Korean and Vietnam wars, German WWI and II, medals and flags."
But the centerpiece of it all will be a large black granite and brick wall with close to 250 names of veterans who served along with generous donors.
The hope is for families to add to the collection with monetary donations or keepsakes.
The hope is for the museum to also be used for classes about American military history. It’s slated to open on Pearl Harbor day, Dec. 7.
White pieces of cardboard will be replaced with historical pictures etched in granite. There’s an extensive book collection, a rifle from WWI and a Pearl Harbor uniform.
Preserving the past by sharing stories of veterans with people too young to remember.
If you’d like to donate to the museum you can email Richvack@yahoo.com.