Fort Riley Museums' staff celebrated with a ribbon cutting and opened the doors to the temporary museum, 247 Cameron Ave., March 26. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sundays.
"Today we had the opportunity to mark the opening of the Fort Riley temporary museum," said Lt. Col. Casey Doss, director of the Army Museum Enterprise Fort Belvoir, Virginia. "It's been a year since the museum closed for renovation and with today's opening, Fort Riley and the 1st Infantry Division once again have a museum present to preserve and interpret the history and heritage of both the critical fort and landmark in western expansion and history of the U.S. Army."
The grand opening included thank you speeches to those who assisted in bringing the temporary museum to life, a ribbon cutting and a self-guided tour of the museum.
According to Robert Smith, Fort Riley Museum director, the temporary museum immerses visitors in not one, but two historical tales. It tells the history of Fort Riley and the history of the 1st Inf. Div.
When visitors enter, they will learn of the individual lives that made Fort Riley and the 1st Inf. Div., what it is today. Those lives include Maj. Edmund A. Ogden the builder and Gen. George Armstrong Custer the Soldier, Alexander L. Arch, the Soldier who fired the first American round during World War I and Donald Russel Long, Medal of Honor recipient.
Doss said a museum presence is important for Soldiers and their families.
"The Center of Military History seeks to preserve the Army history and heritage and use that history and heritage to educate and inspire the forces," he said. "Museums are learning laboratories to educate Soldiers on (their) profession and combat specialty. They help build critical thinkers and dynamic problem solvers."
Legacy and sacrifice, he said, is what drives Soldiers to fight and win this nation's wars.
"We are investing in our museums to increase their relevance to their commands and Soldiers and to the American public," he said. "The renovation of the Fort Riley museum is an example of these investments."
According to Doss, the renovated museums will have updated technology, lighting, exhibits, classrooms and research library.
"It's going to be a real showpiece for the division," Smith said. "We're bringing the museums into the 21st century …. we hope to tell the history of the post and the history of the division and have some new perspectives on that with new methods of museum exhibition. It's going to be super."