Berks Military History Museum
Growing up, Travis Frees had heard stories about his grandfather, the late Warren L. Souders of Mohnton, being taken prisoner during World War II.
But it wasn’t until he recently visited the Berks Military History Museum that Frees really began to appreciate what his grandfather and others of America’s greatest generation endured in service to their country.
“When I toured the museum,” said Frees, 30, of Wyomissing, “it brought back memories of my grandfather.”
State Rep. Mark M. Gillen, founder and president of the Mohnton museum, accompanied Frees on his tour.
“When we approached the POW exhibit, I could see that it grabbed hold of his heart,” Gillen recalls. “It was in his DNA.”
So profound was the experience that Frees, a Reading roofing contractor, arranged to put a new roof on the museum free of charge.
The gift of a roof by The Helping Company, Frees’ business, comes as the museum is set to open a new exhibit on the Holocaust.
The roof over the former kitchen, which is being converted to house the Holocaust exhibit, had been leaking. Museum officials feared potential damage to the artifacts.
“We’re elated that we can continue our work on the exhibit without fear of its contents being damaged,” Gillen said.
The Holocaust exhibit opens with an outdoor ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Sept. 2, the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, at 198 E. Wyomissing Ave. It’s free and open to the public.
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