ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) - A dream has come true to a St. Charles County veteran but sadly he is not around to see it.
Ralph Barrale wanted to create a veterans museum where people left with a message. He died last fall but his dream lived on. He started pushing for a museum six years ago.
North St. Louis native Barrale served in World War Two, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He also helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp.
During his push for the museum, the city of O’Fallon, Mo. said it had a building that he could use.
“The mayor of O’Fallon stepped up and said, ‘Ralph, I think we have a building for you,’ and my dad was like ‘What?!’ He was all excited,” said Ralph Barrale, Jr.
The city would lease the building for $1 a year to the non-profit.
“Everything we have in this community is built on our veterans and what our veterans have sacrificed and given to us,” said Tom Drabelle, O’Fallon’s Communication’s Director, when asked why the museum is important to the city.
The St. Charles County Veterans Museum will tell the stories of local veterans.
“We do want your artifacts and stuff, but really, what we want is the story that goes behind them because that is the purpose of a museum, not just to put stuff on a shelf and display it but to tell that story so everyone can benefit from that,” said Renee Essary.
The museum, which will be located at 410 Elm Street in O’Fallon, opens on April 12. It will operate only on donations, gift shop sales and sponsors.