POW exhibit comes to Georgia Southern Museum

Erinn Williams

The Georgia Southern Museum is bringing a heartfelt exhibit that chronicles the heroic lives of American prisoners of war to the Statesboro community.

The “Victory from Within: The American Prisoner of War Experience” will be on exhibit in the museum from Feb. 10 to June 1.

The traveling exhibit is from Andersonville National Historic Site, which is the only park in the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war.

“We are excited to get this traveling exhibit. Every now and then we get the opportunity to bring one here,” Brent Tharp, museum director, said.

“Victory From Within: The American Prisoner of War Experience” includes interviews, photographs and artifacts that convey the experiences of POW capture, prison life, freedom and their friends and families back home from the American Revolution to the present.

Tharp said, “The exhibit looks at some of the politics but really tries to focus on the experience that they went through and the feeling of not knowing what could happen and where you would be going.”

The exhibit is 1,200 square feet and the organization of the artifacts is based on the National POW Museum in four themes that include “Capture,” “Prison Life,” “Those Who Wait” and “Freedom.”

“The reason we are bringing it to Georgia Southern is because of student interest. Many students have been doing continuous research at Camp Lawton and the POWs that were there. It is still a very critical issue that resonates with the public today,” Tharp said.

It aims to introduce the public to the meaningful stories of prisoners of war and for students especially to understand and appreciate the sacrifices that were made by American POWs.

“I visited the Andersonville National Historic Site when I was in high school and the whole experience changed my thoughts on war and POW camps. I think that it’s good for us to learn about war since we live in a society where war is constantly on the forefront of our minds,” Jessica Shanken, sophomore international studies major, said.

“It’s a great chance to learn about the past and grow from it and to appreciate what many had to go through for us to live the lives we live. It’s great that the museum is able to bring these opportunities to students like myself,” Shanken said.

It is $2 per person and free to all museum members, GSU students and children less than 3 years of age.