Volunteers Keep Historical Landmarks Functioning in the Northland

Northland Uncovered: Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center

SUPERIOR, Wis. – It’s National Volunteer week across America and it’s volunteers that help keep our favorite historical landmarks running throughout the country.

It’s easy to see Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center volunteer Debbie Ritzinger’s passion for her job.

“I read the letters, I touch everything that comes in, I work with wonderful people,” said Ritzinger.

Ritzinger has been volunteering there for 17 years.

Most of the people working at the center are volunteers.

“We wouldn’t be able to operate without our volunteers. They do collection works, they greet volunteers, they work in the gift shop, they give tours, every facet of the museum has a volunteer apart of it,” said Executive Director of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center Hayes Scriven.

For Ritzinger, it’s easy to stick around.

“Where else are you going to find a Medal of Honor winner and an Ace of Aces in your backyard practically?” said Debbie.

One artifact at the museum was made by Italian prisoners of war for their guard.

The respect for the military is easy to see in this museum.

“When a vet is sitting up at the welcome desk and another vet comes in, there’s this comradery and they can talk immediately,” explained Ritzinger.

It’s this comradery keeping the volunteers working to preserve the past so important to our country.

“I hope that I can treat these artifacts with the respect that they deserve for the person who wore them or handled them and for the family that contributed them to us,” said Ritzinger.

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is always welcoming more volunteers.

If interested, call (715) 392-7151, or head to www.bvhcenter.org.

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