Kempf

Shirley Kempf carefully studies the “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War” traveling exhibit at Henderson Mennonite Heritage Museum. The display details the efforts and treatment of pacifists during World War I.

HENDERSON — Henderson Mennonite Heritage Museum is hosting a traveling exhibit detailing the beliefs and treatment of conscientious objectors.

Conscientious objectors, by definition, are individuals who refuse to serve in the armed forces or bear arms based on moral or religious beliefs. “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War” highlights the stories of pacifists during World War I (1914-1918), particularly Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, Quaker and Church of the Brethren pacifists, including men and women, religious believers, humanitarians, political protesters and separatists. This exhibit lifts up the insights and personal courage of WWI peace protesters, who suffered community humiliation, mob violence and federal imprisonment at facilities like Fort Lewis, Alcatraz Island, and Fort Leavenworth.

The exhibit premiered at the World War I Museum in Kansas City, Kan. in 2017, and has been hosted throughout the United States in museums, churches, colleges and universities. “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War” arrived at Heritage Park July 13, with a special program and reception at the park July 21. Committee members worked tirelessly to gain funding for hosting the exhibit, and their efforts paid off with a sizeable grant from Humanities Nebraska.

The display will be available for viewing at Heritage Park until September 14. At the conclusion of its display at the Heritage Park, “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War” will be on its way to Winnipeg, Canada. Henderson Mennonite Heritage Park is an 8 1/2 acre site between Henderson and I-80 exit 342. The park utilizes many different types of programming to tell the story of the Mennonites who settled in the Henderson area. Henderson Mennonite Heritage Park is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. The park is also available by appointment; if interested, call 402-723-5694 or 402-723-4252. The Henderson Mennonite Heritage Museum can also be found on Facebook and at www.hendersonheritage.org

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