By Stéphanie Borrell-Verdu, USAG Benelux Public AffairsMarch 9, 2018
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Members of the Chièvres Air Base and SHAPE communities learned about the historical impact of World Wars I and II in the local area during a special visit to the Mons Memorial Museum in Mons, Belgium, on March 1.
The trip, organized by Army Community Service's Relocation Readiness Program, provided an opportunity for community members to feel more connected to the neighboring city as they explored the local area, used public transportation and learned more about the complex realities of each war.
The Mons Memorial Museum is divided in two parts, both related to the military history of the city. The first part is a temporary exhibition, which changes every few months. The current exhibition shows what Soldiers and civilians used to eat during World War I.
The second and most important part of the museum is a 1,200 square-metered permanent exhibition. This exhibition is divided in three parts itself: Ancien Régime, World War I and World War II. While viewing the displays, visitors can learn war history as well as the evolution and development of the city through times of war.
Visitors should not expect to see tanks, planes or war equipment. The Mons Memorial Museum puts the emphasis on the daily life of Soldiers and civilians in wartime. It is also a great way to introduce children to the history of the wars as it has modern and interactive exhibits.
Lance Falagan, a U.S. Army counselor and therapist, was guided through the museum by the history specialist Alain Kicq.
"I feel a lot closer to this city now," said Falagan, who arrived in Belgium in January and didn't know about Mons' history and involvement in the wars.
"I feel like I have discovered a treasure. I am just so happy to be here and share history. I would absolutely recommend this museum," he added.
For more information on the museum, visit www.polemuseal.mons.be/en/mons-memorial-museum. Many museums in Belgium, including the Mons Memorial Museum, are free to visit every first Sunday of the month.
ACS has scheduled trips to the Mons Memorial Museum throughout the year. For more information about ACS and upcoming events, visit www.chievres.armymwr.com.