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Honoring Military Service Display



Create a library display celebrating each military branch's birthday or veteran-related days of remembrance to educate the public about our service branches which will keep our veterans in mind so they are not forgotten. Displays can include books, military items, clothing, service medals, and another regalia to educate the public on various facets of each branch.


All members of the community. It will be especially interesting to the youth who are not aware of each of the military service branches and military history. And encourage veterans to share their stories with family members in the library.


Free - using library items related to the topic, and borrowing memorabilia and other items from area veterans, National Guard, active military or recruiters. Some resources such as tape, hangers, or boxes may be needed to better display items


At the time of the branch birthday or other day of remembrance 

  • National Guard. December 13, 1636.
  • Army. June 14, 1775.
  • Navy. October 13, 1775.
  • Marine Corps. November 10, 1775.
  • Coast Guard. August 4, 1790.
  • Air Force. September 18, 1947.
  • Space Force. December 20, 2019.

See the list of military days of remembrance website.

Suggested Duration

The display can be as complex as you have time to make it and the resources you can gather. Keep it up for a minimum of two weeks.

Resources needed 

Use resources you may have available, such as American flags. Borrow items for the display and use colorful patriotic backgrounds to catch people’s attention.

Images attached depict a display for POW/MIA Remembrance Day and include Army and Marine uniforms, POW table, posters available online, and local veteran group resources.

Tips for Success

Ask the local Veterans Service Officers, veterans service clubs (DAV, VFW, American Legion), recruiters, National Guard, active military, and local historical societies to see what they may have that you can borrow.  

If the item is valuable, put your display in a lockable glass case.  If not, use a shelving unit against a wall near the main walkway.  Veterans' uniforms are often very special to the veteran and should be treated as if they are very valuable.

Check with local law enforcement if you are considering displaying any type of weapon, even replicas. I had wanted to include a battlefield cross with our POW/MIA display, however local law enforcement was concerned about theft even if an obvious replica.

Assessment Ideas

People love to see displays in a library. Book and DVD resources are often checked out when special displays are set up. Word of mouth advertising also brings in other patrons to see what you have done. Track patron comments and questions about the display.

Partners and Stakeholders

Local veterans agents and organizations, veterans clubs, local historical society, veterans, National Guard, active-duty military, and recruiters you know may all donate items for your display.

Additional Resources/Bibliography

Lists of Military dates:

Research the celebration/remembrance day for supplemental resources. Some organizations offer free posters to recognize dates that could supplement your display, for example:


Army and Marine uniforms

Fig 1. Display

POW table

Fig 2. Display 

Submitted by 

Chris Magnusson, Arrowhead Library System

Creative Commons License