A future for the past


Alexis Nikolovski (12), Caitlin Mavity (12), Mr. Clark and William Morris (‘17) stand with the unfinished Veterans Museum. The three students have helped fundraise and research for the museum.

Samantha Szewczyk, Author

Northwest Indiana veterans and beyond will be remembered thanks to the work of Lake Central students and teachers. The Veterans museum in the Tri-Town Safety Village, that was revealed to the public on Nov. 7 will serve as a way for individuals to learn about the rich history of veterans.

  “What I like about [the museum] is that it won’t only be students [attending the museum], it will be the public seeing that there is a rich history with veterans in this area.

  According to Mr. Thomas Clark, Social Studies, the journey to begin the museum began about four years ago. At that time, $50,000 were needed to build the museum. Donations began to pour in from many sources, including Mr. Clark’s former students and local veterans. The students and staff at Lake Central have played a large part in getting the money and material needed for the museum to become a reality.

“Lake Central students have played a part in the aspects of trying to raise money, helping out with Safety Village programs, and also trying to gather information on these individuals that we are going to have portrayed in the Veterans Museum,” Mr. Clark said.

The building of the museum started in 2017.  For Mrs. Louise Tallent, Consumer Science, the museum holds a special place in her heart.

“My father is an Army veteran. Because of Mr. Clark and the students being involved, we can teach students about our history and [that] our freedoms are not free,” Mrs. Louise Tallent, Consumer Science, said.

For retired teacher Mr. Russ Tomjanovich and members of the Safety Village, the museum reveal is just the start of its presence in the community.

“At least five to 10 years it was our dream here [at the Safety Village].  I [am] working with Tom Clark to get everything finalized inside. As soon as the windows and roof get on, then we can start planning inside. Right now we’re working on getting a M-16 patent tank to be on display here,” Mr. Tomjanovich said.

Currently, the museum in The Safety Village is one of the only veteran museums in Northwest Indiana. Mr. Clark believes that this museum will put Northwest Indiana on the map.

“A lot of people think ‘Oh, Northwest Indiana, there’s no history here’. There’s a lot of history. There’s some really deep history. Our roots go deep into this nation’s history and that is one thing that will be revealed through this museum,” Mr. Clark said.