Broomfield Veterans Museum to double in size

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A museum, home to some of the most fascinating stories of Colorado veterans, will soon double in size.

The expansion means more wartime artifacts will be on display, according to museum volunteers.

The Broomfield Veterans Museum at 12 Garden Center was established by a group of World War II veterans in 2002.

It operates on donations and is run by true American heroes. The exhibits, inside the old Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library, is a walk back through time showcasing American military history starting with the Civil War.

“We used to say we were the best guarded secret in Broomfield,” museum president Dave Lewis said. “I think that’s changed.”

Lewis, who served in Vietnam, said the museum aims to not just house war memorabilia but to tell veterans’ stories.

Those stories include the late Paul Murphy’s — a local veteran who was one of more than 300 people rescued after the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese in 1945.

Nearly two decades later, Lew Moir was experiencing part his story.

“There were 84 B-52s airborne at all times … all flying in orbits in close proximity to the Soviet Union,” Moir said.

Moir piloted five missions on bombers loaded with nuclear weapons ready to attack the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

“There are those who will claim it was that activity that got Khrushchev to back down,” Moir said.

The stories are organized in separate rooms dedicated to American-fought wars in chronological order.

The museum also houses a library that includes a 50-mission memoir Adventurers Under Fire by B-17 tail gunner Albert C. Henke — a World War II veteran and the late grandfather of FOX31 reporter Michael Konopasek.

The library soon will be housed a larger room thanks to a recent vote of the Broomfield City-County Council.

Lewis said artifact storage and a meeting room will be located in the Broomfield-owned basement of the former library that was previously off-limits.

“That’s going to just give us all kinds of flexibility,” Lewis said. “We’re going to be able to go to the next level.”

That next level will include some museum renovation with a slightly different layout. Some of that work can be enjoyed by visitors starting early-to-mid next year.

The volunteers of the museum are gearing up for a Veterans Day celebration at Broomfield High School.

Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 10. The Broomfield Veterans Museum is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Private group tours are available through reservations.