Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sgt. Cyril Leuelling's Visit and Veterans Day Events

Veterans Day was busy at the Museum of World Treasures. All veterans and military members received free admission for the day, and the Museum was thrilled to host Tech. Sgt. Cyril Leuelling as a special guest speaker.

Sgt. Cyril Leuelling visited the Museum with two of his daughters on Veterans Day, 2013.
It was Cyril who first told the story behind the signed Nazi flag hanging on the second floor of the Museum. This flag came to the Museum in 2005 but was mysteriously lost for decades before. According to Cyril, he and his platoon signed the flag in France and sent it back to the United States; unfortunately it never arrived. He searched for the flag for decades before the Museum contacted him in 2006.

Cyril came to visit the Museum on Veterans Day with two of his daughters to see the flag. After lunch and a tour, the Museum had a special reception to listen to Cyril's story and see the unveiling of a new shadowbox addition to the area.

Cyril shared his memories of the flag and the war, including going ashore on D-Day and being soaked to the bone. He thought they would get a fresh pair of clothes shortly after they landed, but the troops didn't see that kind of luxury for months. He also talked about saving a man's life and seeing the freed prisoners of war. "Skin and bones," he said. "That's all they had."

Cyril spoke about his time in the war and told the story behind the signed Nazi flag.
He spoke about sending home the "souvenir" flag, and strapping seven German pistols to his belt. Four he gave away, two were stolen, and one still sits in his home and has never been fired. He spoke about his homecoming on a ship with 12,000 other men and about earning a medal from the French government as a thank you to him for helping save their country.

While he was speaking, the signed Nazi flag was in the background. Next to it, a US Army flag covered a section of the exhibit. Volunteer Ron Bogard, who was instrumental in getting Cyril to the Museum and doing research on his military history, told Cyril we had a surprise for him and took the US Army flag off the wall. He handed it to Cyril and revealed a surprise shadowbox with duplicates of all of Cyril's medals and honors. 

From left: Sgt. Cyril Leuelling, MOWT President Mike Noller, Volunteer Ron Bogard.
Over the past year, Ron spent a great deal of time locating and researching each medal Cyril received and acquired duplicates to hang in the museum. The medals and honors were donated by collectors, different branches of the military, and Ron himself. After the box was unveiled, Cyril was surprised and full of emotion.

Sgt. Cyril Leuelling and volunteer Ron Bogard admire the new shadowbox addition to the exhibit.
"This is a good day," he said to the crowd. His daughter agreed. "One of the best days," she said. He shook his head yes and looked again at his medals, his honors, his flag, all there on the wall in our small Museum. His story has already been shared with thousands of school children on guided tours, and thousands more will hear about when he visited to see it on Veterans Day. 

For more information on the signed flag, please visit our first blog post about his visit, or the Musuem's Education Director's blog about the day.  

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