Honoring Veterans: Huntsville Museum of Art offers unique first hand look at WWI

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Veterans Day is about honoring the sacrifices veterans make.

Part of that should be about preserving the memory what service has meant through the years.

Right now the Huntsville Museum of Art has a collection on display that takes you back in time to World War I. The exhibition sets the tone with geopolitics and context, featuring a giant map of the players on the wall.

It seeks to represent all sides and fronts of the great war.

Huntsville Museum of Art Curator David Reyes explains, “The exhibition has a number of different works from artists of all nationalities who were working during WWI.”

It starts boldly.

Reyes notes, “The first year of the war actually is a naive look at what people think the war is going to be like.”

Soldiers charge courageously. Artists represent them almost like super heroes. But by the time we make it into the second room, Reyes says, “The realities of war are more vividly portrayed.”

Now we see the morbid reality of hospitals and a world on fire.

For perhaps the first time, we see the world becoming war-weary.

Then we move into the third room, and Reyes says, “It really gives you a sense of how horrible this new modern war was.”

The world of super hero soldiers on horseback — we say goodbye to it.

We say hello to the first tank and the first warplane.

We  come to recognize an era of sacrifice for soldiers who could not imagine the brutality of the Great War when they enlisted but who endured it all the same.

Respecting history means remembering it.

If you’d like to visit the exhibition at the Huntsville Museum of Art, it will run through November 15.