We were pleased to be asked to prepare a display to honor Ohio veterans at the Blue Jackets game on Veterans Day. In the past we had taken conserved Civil War flags in conjunction with displays done by the Ohio National Guard. This time we wanted to include collections related to World War I. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day; the day when the fighting of World War I stopped on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour.
Many of the Blue Jackets fans stopped to see the display. Probably the most popular object was a section of the outer skin of the Spad XIII fighter flown by Eddie Rickenbacker. This section shows the Hat in the Ring insignia of the 94th Aero Squadron, one of the first American air squadrons to fight in German territory during World War I. Rickenbacker (1890-1973), a native of Columbus, Ohio, was America’s top ranking ace of World War I, downing 26 German aircraft. A number of people commented on the uniform helmet with the insignia of the 37th “Buckeye” Division. The insignia was taken from the Ohio flag and is composed of a red circle surrounded with a band of white. For many, the insignia resembled a target too closely. Some of the younger veterans from more recent conflicts were surprised at how little some of a soldiers accoutrements had changed.
We at OHS wish to express our sincere gratitude to all veterans for their service and sacrifice. We are proud to preserve their history and keep their memory alive.