Last Friday I was invite by the War Museum in Overloon, The Netherlands, to join one their first-time ‘Museum in the Dark’ event. The Museum is known for it’s annual Militracks Event, but this was something different. The event is evolved around the military experiences of Vincent J. Speranza, former member of H company, 501st PIR, 101st Airborne Division. Vince fought during the Battle of the Bulge and liberated a Nazi concentration camp with his outfit. Four years ago he released his memoirs about his time in the army during the Second World War. This and Vince’s recent visit to the museum became the basis for this event.

Museum in the Dark takes you from Vince’s house in New York to his training in the United States to Bastogne to the liberation of concentration camp ‘Kaufering’. Last summer I was already surprised when I saw a the body of a C47 Skytrain in the vehicle hall. For the event they made perfect use of it by having reenactors explaining everything involved during a parachute jump. The rest of Vince’s experience was being told in a cinematic way using both sound and visual effects. A narrator portraying Vince accompanied the video which allowed everyone to get a grasp of what the war was like for him and other paratroopers. Even the Airborne Beer story was being told by Vince himself (on video).


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My personal mission has always been to carry on the torch of the greatest generation to future generations. I think with this threehour event, every person is able to explore and learn more about the men who were once fighting thousands of miles from home. They fought in foreign countries and put their lives on the line, sometimes paying the highest price. We should keep in mind that freedom is never free. This innovative way of telling a story in a museum is a great example on how to reach new and existing audiences. Therefore, I hope that, if the museum decides to return the event next year, other veteran stories will be told. There are so many untold stories!  We have to keep carrying on that torch to future generations!

For Dutch people: the event will be there only for more days on November 22nd, 23rd and 24th 2018. More information can be found here!

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One thought to “Museum in the Dark – Vince Speranza”

  • Edgar N. Valderrama

    Hey Joe, I’m 93 and I’m not sure how many or my stories you have or if anybody sees/reads them or if more would be appreciated by anyone. (I feel sort of neglected)


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