Artifact collection honors soldiers' legacy

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 19:08:06-04

Frederick “Butch” Maisel is a pretty big history buff.

"This is a very important piece to me, this is my Dad's helmet that he wore in Normandy, he landed June 6th, got a silver star," said Butch.

He's been collecting artifacts from soldiers since 1973.  Butch and his son, Christian, have amassed tens of thousands of items from the Revolutionary War all the way to present day.  Each one comes with a story, even if all the details aren't clear.

"I just wish I knew the man's name so I can honor it more,” Butch said.  “But it's a really significant piece, an American soldier died while wearing this coat in World War II."

Butch is dedicated to telling the accounts and experiences of real soldiers.  Something he took away from his father, Major Frederick Maisel Jr., a company commander during World War II.

"I guess it was the passion that he had for his comrades, not about himself, but he never forgot the guys he served with, and I felt that connection growing up," said Butch.

See also: Just in time for Memorial Day, a Purple Heart returns to a veteran's family

Butch and Christian take their portable military museum to dozens of lectures and locations every year.

"We've done displays for the Army, the National Guard, the Park Service, colleges.”

Including every Memorial Day at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens for the last 20 years. 

Monday, Butch will be back with his exhibit, and his son, a Captain in the Maryland National Guard, is the key note speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony.  That kicks off at 10 a.m.

You can catch Butch's display there, or wait until the entire collection moves to a permanent home.  Next fall, the Boys Latin Center for Military History will open on the Boy's Latin campus where Butch will teach military history.

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