South El Monte American Military Museum helps preserve history for future generations

SOUTH EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) — The pandemic has made it difficult for local museums, and on top of that, the US Military Museum in South El Monte also recently had to deal with a fire.

Craig Michelson’s father, a WWII officer, established the museum nearly 60 years ago. It now has over 180 exhibits – from military helicopters to rare buses and a comprehensive collection of World War II tanks.

“A lot of veterans will come by, they’ll bring their kids, they’ll have their grandkids, and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, I served on that tank, that was the truck I drove,’ and it brings back a lot of memories. said Michelson.

This is why Michelson heaves a great sigh of relief. Just last week he lost almost everything when a fire broke out at the neighboring property. He thanks the firefighters for saving him from grief.

“There was absolutely no damage,” Michelson said. “I love LA County. They stepped up and did a great job.”

A tight call after an already difficult year, stopped due to COVID. Now the museum is back open on Saturdays and Sundays. Support has been overwhelming, keeping the museum going.

“Because once you lose the story, that’s it!” Michelson said.

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