ATLANTA – Pride of country is being put on display thanks to a man dedicated to sharing his love of America with others.
Nick Snider, a retired United Postal Service executive, has founded the National Museum of Patriotism, which is being constructed in Atlanta, Ga. — and is funding the project partly with his own money.
"As corny as it just simply might sound, it's out of love of country," Snider told Fox News. "I fully appreciate everything I have and what I've been blessed with. But I think everyone needs to have a revisiting of what our values are as a country."
Exhibits in the museum, which is scheduled to open in 2004, will spotlight "events and personalities in American history that have contributed significantly to making freedom and the American way of life possible," according to the museum's Web site.
From the sacrifices of the World War II generation to the spirit of Americans after Sept. 11, the museum will seek to stir emotions in everyone who visits, said Snider.
"We'll do things on the immigrant experience [so] people can understand that this is the land so many people from so many different countries in the world try to come to," he said.
Snider, 60, said the idea for the museum was conceived in 1996. At first he was simply looking for a place to show his 14,000-piece collection of "sweetheart jewelry" from World War II. However, he has since expanded his idea to create an entire museum of patriotic items.
Many Americans would be pleased to have a museum dedicated to exhibiting pride in the United States.
"I would probably go out of my way to go to that [museum]," said ex-Marine Patrick Donnelly from Papillion, Neb.
Donnelly added that he finds it important to teach his two young children about America's history — and at six years old, his daughter is already a proud patriot.
"She drew a picture the American flag and put it in our window," he said. "I don’t think she had all 50 stars, though," he laughed.
Currently, 1,000 pieces of Snider’s collection, including patriotic jewelry, matchbooks, envelopes and flags, are on display at the River Heritage museum in Doniphan, Mo.
"He sent a fairly large selection of his sweetheart jewelry collection, bracelets lockets, rings, earrings and broaches," said River Heritage's curator Nick Hatch. "We also have some in-service flags that flew in the windows if someone had a son serving in the military."
Snider's items are a satellite display to a travelling exhibit from the Smithsonian called "Produce for Victory: Posters on the American Home Front, 1941-1945."
Snider has raised $1 million in corporate and private donations to help jump-start the museum, and is still raising additional funds. He said he hopes the museum will inspire others to demonstrate their pride in American.
Hatch, a militaria collector as well as curator, said he's anxious for Snider's Museum of Patriotism to be up and running.
"I think it’s a wonderful idea," he said, "I think it’s something long past due."