Central Ohio veterans museums NVMM, Motts ready to welcome back visitors

STEPHEN BORGNA
sborgna@thisweeknews.com
The "So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope" exhibit will be on display at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum when it opens June 27. Motts Military Museum in Groveport opened June 16.

After remaining closed for more than three months due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum on West Broad Street in Columbus is preparing to reopen, and the Motts Military Museum on South Hamilton Road in Groveport already has.

The NVMM plans to open its doors to visitors Saturday, June 27, adhering to 6-foot distancing and health guidelines detailed by the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Guided tours remain suspended, but general admission to all indoor and outdoor spaces will be available.

"While we have remained open virtually and connected with veterans and supporters across the country over the last three months, we are excited to welcome back guests to engage with both our permanent and special exhibitions," Michael Ferriter, NVMM president and CEO and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, said in a statement.

Upon reopening, the museum will be operational during its regular hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to its normal exhibits, the museum will feature its special exhibit, "So Ready for Laughter, the Legacy of Bob Hope," which covers the comedian's overseas trips to entertain soldiers during World War II. That exhibit has been extended until Labor Day, Sept. 7.

According to marketing and communications manager Tammy Brown, the museum encourages visitors to reserve tickets online so the number of people in the museum can be monitored, allowing for proper social distancing.

The museum has undertaken a number of disinfectant procedures, including regular daily cleaning of all touch surfaces, has equipped restrooms with foot pedals and paper towels so guests can avoid touching door handles and has installed hand-sanitizer stations throughout the three levels of the museum.

All staff and volunteers are required to wear face masks, and the museum encourages guests to wear them.

"The health and safety of our guests and our team is our top priority" Ferriter said. "We are following state and national requirements for reopening cultural facilities and have trained our staff on all new procedures and guidelines."

Motts Military Museum in Groveport reopened June 16 after closing March 17. The number of visitors is capped at 50% of capacity, which equates to 130 people.

"We are excited to welcome people back," assistant director Lori Motts-Byrd said. "We're thrilled we can reopen and continue our mission to inspire and educate."

Among the health measures the museum has undertaken since reopening are taking the temperatures of staff and volunteers, maintaining social-distancing signs throughout the facility, installing shields at registers and setting up hand-sanitizing stations throughout the museum.

Everyone, including guests, must wear a face mask.

Motts Military Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Tours remain suspended.

For more information about the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, go to nationalvmm.org. For Motts Military Museum, go to mottsmilitarymuseum.org.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

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