WORCESTER, Mass. - From its battlements, to its broad doors; from its four stories of imposing red brick to its gun ports; the Worcester Armory's resemblance to a castle is oddly fitting considering the treasures it holds within. The long and proud history of the Massachusetts National Guard is on display here at the Massachusetts National Guard Military Museum & Archives.
The museum, which opened in 1995, is overseen by retired Army Col. Leonid Kondratiuk. He was named as the Director of Historical Services for the Massachusetts National Guard in April of 1999, and has worked diligently ever since to make improvements to the displays and to reorganize the archival collections.
The museum’s first floor boasts an impressive collection of original and replica weapons, uniforms, and flags which span from the National Guard’s inception in 1636 to present day. The second floor is dedicated to the many wars the Soldiers and Airmen of the Massachusetts National Guard have fought in, from the Battle of Lexington and Concord, to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to having an impressive collection of artifacts on display, the Museum is also home to the archival records of the Massachusetts National Guard. Families who would like to find out about an ancestor’s service in the Guard can contact Kondratiuk, and within a matter of days, he will be able to tell the family what battles their loved one was involved in.
“We are the home of the history of the Massachusetts National Guard,” said Kondratiuk. “We invite all to come and visit to get a better feel for the history.”
The museum, located at 44 Salisbury St. in Worcester, Mass., is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (508) 797-0334 or visit www.ma.ng.mil/resources/museum/default.aspx.