BELTON — This summer, the Bell County Museum takes a long look at a generation that saved the world.

The exhibit opening Saturday, “Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation,” seeks to restore a wholeness to the generation born around the World War I, who grew during the Great Depression and who came of age during World War II. The exhibit was originally created and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

It is part of the On the Road program, which provides reduced-sized versions of the exhibit at affordable prices to smaller community museums and nonprofits.

Participants are required to apply for a grant for the program as well as contribute to some of the costs.

The expansive collection spans the lives of the parents of baby boomers. The museum staff will supplement the traveling exhibit with local artifacts and information.

“This exhibit explores the life arc of the World War II generation — as told in their own words,” said Stephanie Turnham, Bell County Museum director. “It draws on memories and oral histories to help us understand who these people really were.”

The guest speaker at 2 p.m. will be Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University’s Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Suri holds a Ph.D. from Yale University as well as other degrees from Ohio and Stanford universities.

A frequent public lecturer and guest on radio and television programs, Suri received numerous awards for his research and teaching. In 2007, Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America’s “Top Young Innovators” in the Arts and Sciences. His writings appear widely in blogs and print media. Princeton Review rated him as “1 of the 300 Best Professors” of 2012.

The exhibit closes Aug. 11.

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