Every once in a while you hear about acts of selflessness. They are one time acts of compassion and putting others before yourself. One such story of selflessness that has spanned over 40 years started when David McCallion’s Grandfather gave him his Princess Mary tin and belt. That became a lifelong passion, and now David McCallion is the founder and owner of a military museum located in Ballyclare, UK, called War Years Remembered.
The sole purpose of War Years Remembered, according to the website, is “to preserve our history through two of the greatest impacts on this Isle during the 21st Century, i.e. World War I and II.
“We represent all our war dead and the survivors from all nations involved. Through education and understanding of the mistakes made in the past, and hopefully it will prevent it from happening again in the future and leave a lasting legacy for all our future generations.” The stated mission of WYR is, according to McCallion, to “bring history alive for all generations, giving both young and old a greater understanding of life during all the conflicts both on the battle field and on the home front.”
The collection is now a mobile museum and McCallion tours it throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. He visits schools and participates in public events to give everyone a hands-on experience with history by touching and viewing the artifacts he has collected over the last 20 or so years.
In McCallion words, “Our past is their future and preservation is our goal, so that future generations will be able to benefit from the work that War Years Remembered has done through its restoration and preservation scheme. We are presently trying to secure a base museum which, with the right funding will be a very unique War Museum.”
War Years Remembered is not in competition with any other organization, WYR has stated. The predominate role of WYR is to fill in the blanks that are an important part of everyone’s heritage; it has supported other museums on this Isle and has been a very valuable teaching aide for schools and community groups in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
McCallion said that he is available for events, and is willing to talk to those interested in learning more about War Years Remembered. He can be contacted through the WYR website.
By Leslie Patterson