Eagle Scout spruces up Veterans Memorial Museum

Eagle Scout spruces up Veterans Memorial Museum

Aidan Sousa, left, and Glenn Dusablon stand in the revamped Veterans Memorial Museum space on Earle Street in Woonsocket. Sousa, of Cumberland, worked with fellow Boy Scouts to spruce up the facility. (Breeze photo by Talia Ghazal)

WOONSOCKET – Eagle Scout Aidan Sousa said he was proud to lead his troop on an assignment to revamp the Veterans Memorial Museum in Woonsocket on Nov. 18.

Tasks completed by the Scouts included setting up displays, digitally restoring archives, and general cleanup of the venue at 78 Earle St.

Sousa, 17, has been a Scout since childhood, so participating in community service was a familiar task to him. After about 10 years as a Scout, he said his time to lead a project had come.

“I’ve attended projects led by older Scouts,” said the son of Colleen and Keith Sousa, of Cumberland, “but when it was my turn to lead the troop, I knew this was the right project for us. It’s a significant landmark for anyone who has served our country.”

The idea to refurbish the museum came to Sousa after his grandfather attended a Veterans Day breakfast last year.

“I came to the museum for a visit after my grandfather told me about it,” said Sousa. “When I met the owner, I realized he was running the museum pretty much on his own.”

Sousa and his troop assisted in hanging model airplanes from the museum ceiling, restoring archives in digital form, and cleaning areas of the museum that are hard to access.

Glenn Dusablon, owner of the museum and a North Smithfield resident, thanked Sousa and the Scouts for all the work they put into freshening up the facility.

“The amount of work they did today would have taken me months to do on my own,” he said.

The owner’s interest in veterans memorabilia began as a child after finding an old Confederate bowie knife in the home of an ancestor.

Prior to opening the museum two years ago, he would display veteran artifacts he collected or borrowed in a traveling exhibit. Now there is a permanent location to display what he calls priceless pieces of history.

“Our intent is to educate the public and keep them involved in the history of each artifact,” Dusablon explains.

He said each artifact has its own story and was used or worn by veterans.

“We hope people in the local community appreciate what we do,” he said. “The mission is to honor all our veterans from every American war era.”

The nonprofit organization emphasizes the need to give back to the community. The intent is to honor veterans who served the country and the families of those veterans.

“There are attendees of the museum who are elderly and have trouble using the stairs here,” said Dusablon. “We are trying to get an elevator installed to provide better access for all of our patrons.”

The Veterans Memorial Museum is located on the second floor of the American French Genealogical Society. Currently, all donations will be going toward installing the elevator in the building to provide ease of access for patrons.

“Similarly to our dedicated Eagle Scouts, our organization wants to do good for the community,” said Dusablon.

Comments

What a nice commentary on this young man's efforts. I'm sure we'll hear many more good things from him in the years to come.