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Remembering the past

Mobile WWI museum brings artifacts and history, providing a closer look at 'The War To End All Wars.'

January 21, 2012|By Joseph Serna
  • Visitors walking through the Honoring Our History World War I traveling gallery see a variety of artifacts including a U.S. cold weather flight suit and flying helmet. The mobile museum, sponsored by Waddell & Reed, was on display for one day only at the Lyon Air Museum next to John Wayne Airport.
Visitors walking through the Honoring Our History World… (STEVEN GEORGES )

SANTA ANA — A Spanish philosopher once said, "Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it."


FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version incorrectly stated that an Italian philosopher said, "Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it."

And nowhere could that have been more clear Saturday than at the Lyon Air Museum, where in the shadow of WWII memorabilia, hundreds gathered to learn about that war's predecessor, which was called The War to End All Wars.

"You know, it's almost a forgotten war in light of having been eclipsed by everything that's transpired since," said Chris Lamberton, a retired major in the Marine Corps from Santa Ana. "All the elements that come into play in modern warfare can trace their roots to the first World War. Nobody likes the idea of having to go to war and you know, learning more about our history and something like this, WWI, and this display, I think it's excellent."

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Inspired by the financial firm Waddell & Reed's roots — its two founders were WWI veterans — the company brought it's "Honoring Our History" traveling gallery to the historical Costa Mesa museum.

Only in town Saturday, the museum has 66 artifacts and a bunch of historical information. It's attached to a customized big rig that will stop in Palm Springs on Wednesday, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach on Jan. 28 and Pasadena City Hall on Feb. 2. Saturday's event was the 30th stop on the exhibit's 75-city tour.

The museum is free but regular admission applies to the facilities it is housed in on any given day. Half the proceeds go to the National World War I Museum in Missouri, and the other half to the local facility.

"Of course, we don't want them to have the same mistakes that our forefathers had, with WWI and eventually comprehending all the political aspects of that that basically led to WWII," said Stuart Caldwell, of Anaheim, who with his wife brought their 6-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter to the exhibit. "Eventually, it'll be important for them to see this as part of that larger continuum."

joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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