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Ernie Pyle World War II Museum launches national fund-raising campaign

May 30, 2014
Ernie Pyle

Online Staff Report

The Ernie Pyle World War II Museum is launching a nationwide fund-raising campaign to bolster its efforts to preserve and expand the famous war correspondent’s legacy.

The museum, in Pyle’s hometown of Dana in west-central Indiana, is operated by the Friends of Ernie Pyle. It features Pyle’s birth home and adjacent Quonset huts containing memorabilia and multimedia presentations.

The museum no longer receives any state financial support, so continuation of the site is dependent on entrance fees, funds from the local township, and contributions from individuals and organizations, said Cynthia Myers, president of the Friends of Ernie Pyle. While these funds have allowed the group to keep the museum open on weekends from May through Veterans Day in November, more needs to be done.

The site was originally developed and operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a state historic site. The DNR turned over operations of the site to the Friends of Ernie Pyle in 2011.

The fund-raising launch coincides with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy of June 6, 1944. Ernie Pyle walked the beaches the following day gathering information that would lead to several D-Day columns, which later earned him the Pulitzer Prize for war coverage.

This is a special milestone for the generation of Americans who fought during that war, and the Friends of Ernie Pyle is dedicated to honoring their sacrifices, Myers said. The best way to do that is to preserve Ernie Pyle’s legacy. His honest and poignant writings connected GIs on the front lines to their worried families at home, and that is what endeared him to so many.

The museum is distributing copies of three of Pyle’s D-Day column to newspapers throughout the nation with the goal that editors will share it with their readers as they did in 1944. Click the following headlines to read Pyle’s columns:

A Pure Miracle,” June 12, 1944

The Horrible Waste of War,” June 16, 1944

A Long Thin Line of Personal Anguish,” June 17, 1944

Ernie Pyle wrote columns for the Scripps Howard News Service during World War II, and by war’s end, they were delivered to more than 14 million homes, according to his New York Times obituary. As the war neared its end, a Japanese machine-gunner killed Pyle on the Pacific Island of Ie Shima near Okinawa in April 1945.

To be a part of this national tribute to Pyle and the generation he chronicled, individuals can go to www.erniepyle.org and make a donation. Donors can receive a special collector’s edition of the documentary G.I. Joe: The story of Ernie Pyle; a poster about the movie signed by its producer, Marino Amoruso; or a coffee table book, Ernie Pyle’s War: In Words and Pictures.

The Friends of Ernie Pyle is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a 13-member board. The museum is in Dana on Indiana 71, 1 mile north of U.S. 36 in Vermillion County. The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Private tours can be arranged year-round by contacting the museum.

For more about this release or the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum, contact Friends of Ernie Pyle Board member Max Jones at max.jones@tribstar.com or (812) 249-0798.

Posted May 30, 2014

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