The Veterans Memorial Building proudly maintains a museum collection of traditional Memorials, military issued objects, and Veterans memorabilia that spans roughly from the Civil War to present day conflicts. The mission of the Museum—the Eastern Iowa All-Veterans Memorial Museum—is to honor, preserve, interpret and care for the Eastern Iowa Veterans’ history and artifacts. A quote that museum staff takes to heart when designing exhibitions or caring for the museum collection is, “Our finest tribute to their valor will be the quality of our own lives” as stated by former Coe College President Dr. Joseph E McCabe, at the Memorial Building in 1966. Dr. McCabe’s poignant words are engraved on one of the Buildings Memorials: a (miniaturized) bronze replica of the Iwo Jima United States Marine Corps Memorial that was designed by Felix de Weldon, and was cast and placed in memory of both World War II and the Korean conflict. This exterior Memorial can be found at the main entrance of the Building.
Current Museum Displays
The Spanish American War Memorial Gallery
This room historically hosted the Veterans Memorial Commission administrative office and monthly meetings; the Grand Army of the Republic comrades, and the United Spanish American War Veterans. These three pivotal groups met and conducted business here. Up to the year 2008 it also held the entire Museum collection on display.
Currently, this room is maintained as a permanent-collection gallery of items from the Civil War, Grand Army of the Republic, World War II recent donations, and Building History. Also showcased is an oversized model of the USS Iowa, created by a local USAF veteran.
George Hamman Memorial Gallery: WWII, Korea, Cold War
For roughly 80 years this room was the City of Cedar Rapids Treasurers office. The room has been restored and updated with climate-control, UV filtered window shades and scheduled to hold exhibits that will rotate every few years. An exhibition titled: Vietnam: An Untold Narrative opened on Veterans Day 2014 and will run through the fall of 2016. The design and interpretation of the display came directly from conversations with local Vietnam War and like-era veterans. The exhibition incorporates over 100 original artifacts from the Vietnam era, a comprehensive timeline spanning from 1963-1975 that takes the visitor around the room, a slide show and video of in-country images, top musical hits, and an interactive installation of an entrance to a North Vietnamese tunnel.
South Tower 4th floor Chamber, lobby
Join us in celebrating the public return of the model airplanes that previously were on display at the Eastern Iowa Airport for almost 50 years. Everyone can enjoy these models in an exhibition titled, In Flight: The Horsky Collection of Model Airplanes. The display will take an in-depth look at the life of master modeler and Major Robert M. Horsky; United States Air Force veteran who was born and raised in Cedar Rapids and carefully crafted each of the 185 models. These model aircraft remain a testament to the memory of Robert M. Horsky and his keen interest in scale-plastic modeling. While serving as a pilot in his third war, Horsky was shot down and perished over the skies of Vietnam in 1965. The models are considered rare by today’s standards.
If you are interested in donating an item please contact Assistant Director, Teri Van Dorston by phone or email.