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What about my medals?

Most collectors know what is going to happen to their medal collections after or even before they die. Most will have the collection sold and they will rest easy knowing that the medals are being well cared for by other collectors. Some collectors and veterans will toy with the idea of donating their medals to a museum of some sort. As I have said many times before most museums are not too thrilled with donated medals and coins though few will refuse to accept them. A little over a week ago I was traveling through Southeastern Wisconsin and visited three fine museums. All were really nice and had good dedicated staffs but one really proved my point. The museum had an extensive local history of WWII exhibit including uniforms worn by local vets along with their recorded voices telling of their war time experiences. In the far back corner was a locked display cabinet with a glass shelf upon which a small hoard of medals pins and insignia were scattered about willy-nilly with many items upside down or sideways and absolutely nothing attributed. I tracked down the lady in charge and asked her if she would like to know what the items were? “No” she said , “I know what they are.” Then why isn’t any of it labeled? I asked her. “Labels would just distract from the exhibit” she replied. “We just wanted to show what kind of souvenirs the guys brought back” she continued. “Oh” I said, “but what about all the US items?” A slight frown then arose over her face and she shot back “I didn’t really want to bother with that stuff but I couldn’t leave that shelf empty.” Well at that point I figured I had better leave well enough alone. After all if she was responsible for the rest of the museum’s displays she had earned a 90% positive score overall. So I thanked her and said good bye all the while thinking how much I wished that every veteran who thinks that his medals would be better off in a museum could see the exhibit and talk to the boss lady. If you want to see how I think medals should be displayed come to the Iola Vintage Military Show this weekend and take a look at some of my exhibits.