Waldo Bertoni's West
Point Cadet Uniform
Wilbur Smith's WWI
Mayor Bill Glaze at
the Dedication Ceremony
Former Teacher of
some of the Hahn's:
Some of the audience
with the Hahn's in front
of the new Military Uniform Cabinets
Presenting Plaque to the Hahn Family
Museum Military Uniform Cabinet
by Col. Waldo Bertoni, Ret.
We are here today to dedicate this uniform display case that was
made possible by funding from the Harry Hahn family and by the
craftsmanship of Chick Holmes.
I'm here at this time because I've probably spent more time in
uniform than anyone in Mt. Pulaski. I left here when I was 18,
and in my next 64 years I spent the first 34 in uniform. The
one in the case with all the brass buttons is one of my first .
While Mt. Pulaski's history only dates from 1836, the history of
our citizens in uniform starts with the Revolutionary War and
includes every war since then. Our cemeteries reflect this
This is a nation of polls, and one such poll is on which
occupation has the highest public approval. Invariably,
military service has received the highest rating. To maintain
this rating we must guard against blaming our soldiers for the
circumstances they have been placed in by our politicians. One
of our blackest moments occurred during the Vietnam War. Our
returning soldiers were vilified by many Americans. It was so
bad that many were reluctant to wear their uniforms in public.
Even now supposedly religious people try to demonstrate at
military funerals, and Hollywood delights in making movies
critical of everything relating to the military.
The uniforms in this display should remind us that these are our
fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends and
neighbors. They have served and are serving in war and in
peace, doing difficult tasks assigned by our elected leaders.
They and the uniforms they wear deserve our honor and our
At our Rotary luncheons each Thursday at Buff's, we start the
luncheon pledging our allegiance to the flag and our republic.
We have added a sentence to the pledge. It goes "I pledge my
support to our servicemen and women who are serving that flag at
home and overseas".
I hope you, too, will make that pledge.
Since these uniform display cases were funded by the Harry Hahn
family, I would like to say a few words about Harry. The last
time we saw Harry was here at this museum. Every time I see a
Lincoln impersonator I can't help thinking he just isn't Harry
Hahn! For that matter, when Harry put on that black suit and
stovepipe hat, he wasn't Harry Hahn -- he was Abraham Lincoln!
Meeting Harry gave you an eerie feeling, as if you were seeing
and talking to a man who has been dead for over 140 years.
There will never be another Harry Hahn. How we do miss him.