Kirk Rewerts, Detachment Commander for the 2013-2014 term, presented the check to Friends of Ernie Pyle board member Stephen Key at the annual meeting of the SAL in Indianapolis on Oct. 4.
The Friends of Ernie Pyle own and operate the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum. The museum, located in Dana, preserves the legacy of the war’s most famous correspondent and the legacy of that generation, which grew up during the Great Depression and won World War II.
Key told the Sons’ assemblage in Indianapolis that the two groups shared a common goal. The SAL honors the sacrifice of their parents and grandparents. The Friends of Ernie Pyle honor the sacrifice of the generation that lived in the crucible of the Great Depression and World War II by preserving the writings and memory of Ernie Pyle.
Rewerts, who lives in Crawfordsville, spearheaded the fundraising effort of the Sons of the American Legion, exhorting members of all 11 Indiana districts to meet a goal of $1,000 per district and speaking on the importance of supporting the birthplace and museum dedicated to one of Indiana’s most famous sons. The Indiana Detachment exceeded Rewerts’ challenge by 32 percent.
Rewerts said the initial idea for raising funds by the SAL to donate to the museum originated with Past Detachment Commander Rodney Strong of Veedersburg. Rewerts said he decided to pursue the idea when he was elevated to commander.
“I wanted to honor Ernie Pyle’s contribution to the war effort,” Rewerts said. “He was in the foxholes with the soldiers reporting what was going on to the country. That was very notable.”
Key told the Sons of the American Legion that he hoped the $14,638 donation continued a beautiful friendship between the two organizations and invited everyone to visit the museum in Vermillion County.
Dana, Pyle’s hometown, is located on Indiana 71 one mile north of U.S. 36 in western Indiana. The museum is closed for the winter season, but tours are available on request year-round by contacting the museum at 765-665-3633. For more information about the museum, visit www.erniepyle.org.