By Clare Michal
In 2016 the Orange County Fairgrounds will add a museum dedicated to our veterans, the brave men and women who fought bravely and contributed to our country.
The fairgrounds have a special connection to the military; it was built on the former Santa Ana Army Air Base site. More than half of all American Pilots who served in World War II were trained at the air base. The museum will be housed in the back lot of the fairgrounds in a former barracks building that was built in 1941. Orange County is home to around 133,000 veterans who will tell their stories for the museum.
The Orange County Fair Board and the City of Costa Mesa have already allocated $1 million for the museum. Recently, Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel hosted a fundraiser at the OC Fair to benefit the building of Heroes Hall. Over 100 people attended to show their support. This event was sponsored by the Disney Corporation, the OC Fair and Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer.
The museum is expected to open on Veterans Day 2016. It is anticipated that over 100,000 school children will visit Heroes Hall every year to hear the stories and learn that freedom isn’t free.