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Yukon Veterans Museum opens doors

After a three-year search for a permanent home for the Yukon Veteran’s Museum, a sparkling new home for the multitude of military memorabilia opened last week.

A ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a reception officially opened the new museum inside the American Legion Post 160 building at 1020 W. Main. The two organizations will share the space that is roomy enough for a mountain of military artifacts that will only keep growing.

The museum was formerly housed on the top floor of the Yukon Museum and Arts Center at 601 Oak Ave. The building, formerly Central Elementary School, was constructed in 1910 and had been remodeled several times over the years. The building also housed the Stage Door Theater and the Yukon Historical Society Museum. It became the temporary home of the Veteran’s Museum in July 2013 until a new facility was found. That search bore fruit this year with help of the City of Yukon, which was instrumental in procuring a proper site for the museum.

“This is unbelievable,” said museum curator Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Rick Cacini, who has been the driving force behind the search for a new facility. “It took us three years to get here but thanks to the City that recognized the need for this facility. This is Yukon’s museum.”

Much of the items in the museum are housed in glass cases that are expected to quickly fill up once the word is spread about the state-of-the-art museum, complete with a sophisticated security system.

“We’re going to keep adding things,” Cacini said. “People are bringing in stuff all the time. There’s not a day goes by that people don’t call us and say they have something to donate.”

The museum curator said a visitor from Louisiana stopped by recently and offered to donate items to the museum.

“There’s people coming in from all over,” Cacini noted. “It’s taken three years but now, look at it. It’s getting better and things are really working out.”

City officials have been supportive of the effort to utilize space at American Legion Post for the new Yukon Veteran’s Museum — a perfect fit for the two organizations.

“We’re extremely supportive of the veterans and others who put forth the effort to make this happen,” Yukon Vice-Mayor Mike McEachern said of the unwavering drive of those involved in the project. “It was a pleasure for me to support the veterans here in town who were willing to put the time and effort into this museum. I think the City did something worthwhile and made ourselves a better community in support of our veterans and their history.”

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