Thank goodness, 2020 finally ended. We were all hoping and praying for a much better year in 2021, but so far, the new year has not been very kind to the VMM. Unfortunately for me, I suffered a second heart attack right before Christmas, and unfortunately for the museum, during our holiday break, one of our board member/volunteers became seriously infected with the Covid-19 virus. We are both on the road to recovery, but it wasn't exactly what we had in mind when the new year began!
So, after much thought and consideration, and out of respect to recommendations of Mississippi state health officials, VMM board of directors made the decision that it might be best to remain closed for a few weeks longer. Our hope was that the current upswing in the rate of Covid cases would level out (...or even decline) and then we could reopen with a reasonable assurance that our visitors and volunteers would be in the safest possible environment.
It appears that our plan is proving to be prudent, as the number of Covid cases state wide has leveled off and actually begun to decrease. So, it would appear that our plan to reopen sometime in March is right on track. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, or a recommendation that we should not reopen, our plan is to have the museum up and running on a full time schedule by the beginning of April, at the latest.
Of course, we will observe health and safety rules that everyone will be expected to follow...both visitors and volunteers. Our goal is to have as safe an environment as possible for everyone. We are also making changes to our schedule of operation. We will open for only 4 hours per day/4 days per week (Wednesday - Saturday)...and this is the schedule we will follow for the foreseeable future. We hope that by adding Saturday back to the schedule, we will make the VMM more accessible to visitors who come to visit Laurel on the weekend. Just so you know, if there is a desire to come tour the museum, but you just can't make it during our regular hours, it is possible to call and arrange a private tour. For more information about special tours, CLICK HERE.
Well, I guess it's time to wrap this up, but not before I reveal a bit about what is to come in the near future for the VMM. Next month on INSIDE THE VMM we will be looking at NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY 2021 and the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017. I hope that you will join us as we share about the latest effort to bring recognition to this very special group of our veteran heroes.
Until then, God Bless!
HOST & AUTHOR
Jeff Weber is the PR/Media Director of the VMM. He is a retired history teacher and the son of a career U.S. Army officer/ Vietnam War veteran and has served as a VMM volunteer for over 5 years.