OC FAIR & EVENT CENTER BREAKS GROUND ON NEW HEROES HALL VETERANS MUSEUM

Home / Press Release / OC FAIR & EVENT CENTER BREAKS GROUND ON NEW HEROES HALL VETERANS MUSEUM

Inaugural Exhibitions Will Highlight the Personal Histories of Veterans

March 16, 2016

pressrelease_2016-03-16_groundbreaking
Local veterans break ground for the new Heroes Hall veterans museum at the OC Fair & Event Center. Pictured left to right: Claudia Acosta, Robert Dugan, Douglas Wooley, Frank Orzio and Robert Friend. Click on image to view more event photos.

For Immediate Release

Costa Mesa, Calif. (March 16, 2016)—The OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC) broke ground March 16 on Heroes Hall, a permanent, year-round veterans museum and announced details on the inaugural exhibitions that will be featured. At the groundbreaking ceremony, OCFEC staff were joined by Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation board members, OCFEC board members, veterans, military personnel and other members of the public. The event featured speeches and presentations on the history of the project, the future of the museum and recognition of key contributors. Veterans from each war participated as ceremonial groundbreakers:

  • World War II: Robert Friend (Tuskegee Airman)
  • Korean War: Robert Dugan (Marine Corps)
  • Vietnam War: Frank Orzio (Marine Corps)
  • Desert Storm: Douglas Wooley (Marine Corps)
  • Iraq-Afghanistan War: Marco Martinez (Marine Corps) and Claudia Acosta (Army)

Slated to be completed by Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, Heroes Hall will encompass more than 12,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor exhibit space over two floors and will feature rotating exhibits focused on parts of U.S. military history as told through the personal stories of veterans. The inaugural exhibits include:

The SAAAB Story
The OC Fair & Event Center sits on land that was once part of the Santa Ana Army Airbase during World War II. This second-floor exhibit will tell the story of veterans, former SAAAB residents and celebrities Joe DiMaggio, Gene Autry, Joseph Heller and Don the Beachcomber in addition to special units that were active on the station or significant in the war including the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Chinese National Air Force Detachment, Tuskegee Airmen, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Navajo Code Talkers.

The Things They Carried
Based on and named after the book by Tim O’Brien, the first-floor exhibit will feature stories about Vietnam War veterans as told through text, photography, film, audio, digital media, art and personal items.

With the SAAAB exhibit, Heroes Hall planners are working in coalition with the Orange County Department of Education so that the exhibit can be incorporated in History and Social Sciences curriculum for local 11th grade students.

The Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, oversees fundraising for the ongoing maintenance and operation of the museum. Last year, the OCFEC Board of Directors initiated the donation wave by voting to contribute $2 million. Generous members of the community who would like to contribute to Heroes Hall are encouraged to email heroeshall@ocfair.com. Donations are tax-deductible.

For more information about Heroes Hall and to subscribe to periodic alerts about the progress of the museum, visit ocfair.com/heroeshall.

Heroes Hall is at the OC Fair & Event Center, which is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information about the event center, please visit ocfair.com, become a fan on Facebook.com/OCFair, follow us at twitter.com/ocfair or call (714) 708-1500.

###