Corbin H. Crable
The Gardner Museum and Historical Society will once again host its annual Military Tribute and Exhibit this fall, with a kickoff event to take place Saturday, Sept. 25. Admission is free to both events.

Members of the Bombshell Bettys pose at an event at the Gardner Historical Museum last year. They’ll also be in attendance at the museum’s event this weekend. File photo

The exhibit features artifacts and memorabilia primarily from World War I and World War II. Although many of the items come from the collection of the Olathe Naval Air Station Museum, many of the items are donated by individuals and other organizations, according to Laura McCarthy, who organized the museum’s exhibit. A range of items, including uniforms, photographs, books and research material will be on display. The exhibit itself runs through October and November.
“We’ll even be open on Veterans Day immediately following the (Veterans Day) ceremony,” McCarthy said.
The museum will celebrate the exhibit with a kickoff event on Saturday, Sept. 25. The fun starts at 1 p.m., with a performance by the Trails West Barbershop Chorus. The  Bombshell Bettys, who will offer a USO-inspired performance in full period dress, take the stage at 2 p.m.
Those in attendance will be able to enjoy a vintage aircraft flyover at 2:30, and the Olathe Civic Jazz Band, which has performed at the event for several years, will play at 3 p.m.

The Olathe Civic Jazz Band performs during an event last year at the Gardner Historical Museum. The band will perform patriotic songs during a kick-off event for the museum’s military exhibit this weekend. File photo

Throughout the afternoon, between 1 and 4 p.m., McCarthy said, custom military dog tags will be made on site and on sale for $5 apiece. World War II military vehicles will also be on display for visitors to view. And, of course, there will be refreshments, including several varieties of pie.
McCarthy said the kickoff event and military exhibit are usually always well-attended by the community, and that they offer a chance for Gardner residents to pay their respects to war veterans and learn more about the period in which they served their country.
“Just like we call it – it’s a tribute, and you have to acknowledge the things these people before us have done, and treat it with some reverence,” she said. “It’s our way of honoring those from this area.”
The Gardner Museum and Historical Society, 204 W. Main St., is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday each week. The museum is closed Wednesday and Thursday.
Call the museum at 856-4447 or visit for more information on this and future events.