For most recruits, their time is Naval Station Great Lakes is their first time away from home. They take on new experiences and carry the memories of the loved ones they’ve left. For some, it’s a wonderful time of adventure. For others, it’s a difficult transition. This has been the case since recruits began arriving in 1911. Before the days of texting and social media, Sailors shared their thoughts and experiences on postcards and in letters.
Television commercials and Internet ads for Christmas and Hanukkah presents are ubiquitous today. But a century ago it was newspaper advertisements and engraved drawings in mail-order catalogs that depicted the newest toys and games, sparking children’s visions of what they might get. Toymakers knew that children’s play often reflected world events and far-away experiences. From the 1880s through the 1930s, toys and games about naval sailors captivated boys and girls in farmhouses and in row houses across the United States.
Each year, approximately 40,000 recruits pass through Recruit Training Command (Boot Camp) at Naval Station Great Lakes. These young men and women volunteer to serve in the United States Navy.
But there is another group of dedicated individuals, albeit somewhat smaller, who also donate a portion of their time and energies to the U.S. Navy. They require no PFT, no uniform issue, and will not have to go through the rigors of Battle Stations 21. They are the volunteers at the Great Lakes Naval Museum. Their contributions to the preservation and interpretation of the history and heritage of the U.S. Navy can not be understated.
On the morning of September 1, school children finished class like any late summer day. Teachers dismissed them for lunch. They ran outside and raced each other down the narrow streets to their homes where mothers and grandparents were cooking.
At 11:58, the Earth shook suddenly and violently. Stoves overturned. House walls collapsed on the children, grandparents, and the burning coals. Sounds of rumbling, crashing, and voices screaming filled the streets. Flames roared.
While delving into the Medal of Honor for a new exhibit, we’ve learned some interesting things. That made us wonder, how well do you know the Navy’s highest honor? Test your Medal mettle in our ten-question quiz. Then check your answers at the end. Let us know how you did!