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Al Jolson Honored at
The General Patton Memorial Museum

On May 24, 2010, Al Jolson was honored at the General George Patton Museum with two beautifully framed photo groupings. David Miller, the IAJS Publicity Director, had contacted the museum, resulting in this material being added to the museum display.

The pictured group of photos to the right is displayed in the World War II section, and includes pictures and documents from the Second World War, including historic performances and Al Jolson with General Patton, as well as Jolson's wartime ID card.
To the left is the grouping displayed in the Korean War section. It includes a photo of Al Jolson with General "Johnny" Walker, as well as other significant Korean images. It also includes the text and letter awarding the Medal of Merit to Al Jolson, which was given posthumously, his having died just a few weeks after returning from entertaining troups in Korea.
Pictured are IAJS Publicity Director David Miller and Conservator/Curator Jacque Schindewolf of the Patton Museum standing next to the World War II Jolson Photo Display.

With the placement of these photo collages of Al Jolson, he becomes the first, and only, entertainer honored at the museum. You can visit the General Patton Museum online by clicking this link, or see it if you are in the southern California area.

11 Nov 12 Veterans Day Ceremony at Patton Museum

Patton Museum Award
A beautiful day in the southeast desert of Southern California and the former locations of the Desert Training Center and Camp Young. The opening ceremony started with a WWII fly over by Warbirds West and four vintage fighter planes. Presentation of Colors by Fort Irwin Training Center, Pledge of Allegiance by Mike Pierson, Commander VFW Post, National Anthem by Coachella Valley High School and invocation by Captain Lowan, Chaplain, Fort Irwin Training Center.

The first presentation was the Founder's Award given to Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit.

The second presentation was the General Patton Award to The International At Jolson Society presented to David Miller by Margit Chiriaco Rusche, co-founder. The final award to the IAJS was the Certificate Of Recognition given by Brian Nestande, Assemblyman 64th District. After receiving these beautiful awards, David Miller, Publicity Director of the IAJS, gave a detailed speech on Al Jolson and his love of his adopted country and his many accomplishments and devotion to the men and woman who tight for our freedom.

Mr. Richard Halpern took the audience back to the 1940s with several Jolson songs and closed with "You're Grand Old Flag." He had people singing with him and the crowd loved it.

First Day Cover issued for the event
This first day cover, issued for the event, will be available at the 2013 Jolson Festival
We were taken back in time with impersonaters of President Roosevelt and General McArthur. Closing was an Armed Forces Medley, closing prayer, and Mr. Halpern with the audience singing "God Bless America," followed by "Taps" and the Retiring of Colors.

After the ceremony there was a World War II re-enactment of battle in the tank yard, and with the museum open to the public, people were able to view all it has to offer. Special attention was brought to the two groupings of pictures during WWII and Korea of Al Jolson entertaining the troops that were presented to the museum in 2010 by the IAJS.

This was a wonderful Veterans Day with several hundred people learning just a little more about Al Jolson and his devotion to his country and to the many men and woman that help keep this country the land of the free. Many people went away from the ceremony understanding why, 62 years after his death, there was a Society that continues to keep Al Jolson's name alive.

A look at the festivities on 11 Nov 12
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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2015 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 30 Jan 11
Updated 09 Dec 12
Updated 18 Jan 15