If you know anything about Branson, you know it has a heart, especially for those who’ve sacrificed more than most of us will ever comprehend to protect the freedoms we should never take for granted - our veterans. And there’s no better representation of this sincere reverence and authentic love than the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum. As we’ve said before, patriotism isn’t a sales pitch for Branson, it’s a character trait - it’s at the very core of what this community represents. Veterans and active duty military are embraced by Branson every single day of every year - in a very big way at special times, like during Veterans Week in November - but also in lots of ways at a variety of places throughout the year. Many shows not only honor the veterans in their audience, many will include special songs or other acknowledgements during every performance.
If you’ve never been to the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum, it sure can’t be because you somehow missed seeing it! This wonderful collection of artifacts assembled to honor our nation’s heroes can be found on Branson’s world-famous Strip, Highway 76 (also known as Country Music Boulevard.) Displayed in front of the museum is a stunning piece of bronze art created by Fred Hoppe, the museum’s founder, to honor the sacrifices made during WWII. This exquisitely detailed 50-man statue - “Storming the Beach” - was lovingly created by Hoppe and features a real soldier from each state, including the lead soldier representing the artist’s own father. Also found right in front of the museum is an authentic WWII P-51 Mustang fighter plane affixed to a 30-foot pedestal.
It’s not just about what’s in front of the building, or just about one war - inside the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum you’ll discover authentic artifacts from conflicts as far back as WWI. Organized into halls, the museum offers a self-guided tour experience where you can take as much time as you need to view every display, read the stories behind many of them, and truly absorb the magnitude of the loss of life represented on the walls that share the names of every hero lost during each conflict. Some items on display have been donated or loaned to the museum by families of actual veterans - everything in the museum serves to represent the many men and women who’ve sacrificed so much, but mostly their precious time...time with their loved ones...time they could have spent earning a big salary in the civilian workforce...time they might have spent in college, they sacrificed this time for a higher purpose, to serve every United States citizens and the rights and freedoms we hold near and dear. And then there are those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice...those whose time was cut short, and those are the heroes Branson,and every one of us, can never forget. Simply visiting the Veterans Memorial Museum is one small way you can join Branson in paying homage to all who have served.
Branson has many incredible museums, and planning a trip to enjoy all of them is a great idea - Titanic, Branson Dinosaur, History of Fishing, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Hollywood Wax, and the World’s Largest Toy Museum, which also features the National BB Gun, Stearnsy Bear, Harold Bell Wright (the author of Shepherd of the Hills,) Paul Harvey Jr, and World of Checkers museums as part of its complex, are all ideal places to visit with the entire family. More information on each of these museums, as well as the Branson Centennial Museum, can be found here: “Branson’s Museums - Fun and Fascinating Inside and Out!”
We could go on forever about all of the significant features of the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum, but we’ll let you discover it for yourself on your next visit! It’s a museum that’s inspirational, touching, educational, and best of all, unforgettable, so make sure you don’t forget to add it to your next Branson itinerary.