By Ethan Duran
The Harley-Davidson Museum is offering free entry for active duty military members, veterans and their families from November 9 to 11 at the museum on Canal Street. According to Harley-Davidson’s Website, veterans and active military members can gain free entry to the museum with their Military or Veterans ID, which allows access for one additional adult and up to four children that are 18 or younger.
The MOTOR Bar & Restaurant and The Shop at the museum also give military discounts daily.
Along with the museum being free for service members and veterans, Harley-Davidson will have Gallery Talks for that Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These talks are free to the public and present Harley-Davidson’s involvement with the U.S. military for the past 100 years, which is fitting with the approach of Armistice Day.
Harley-Davidson’s tradition of free museum entry for veterans has been around since the Museum’s opening in 2008. Tim McCormick, Museum Communications Project Manager said that he’s seen veterans from all different branches show up to the museum after the Veteran’s Day Parade in downtown ends.
“There’s various moments on our calendar where we take a moment to honor those men and women that served,” McCormick said. He said that with units like the 128th Air Refueling Wing at the General Mitchell International Airport and the Coast Guard in Bay View, it’s not a surprise to see their members touring the museum occasionally.
“I see a lot of families with personal connections with things on display,” McCormick said, describing his museum experience on past Veterans Days. “I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, ‘My aunt had this bike, my uncle had this bike’.”
Harley-Davidson has had significant impact on the U.S. armed forces’ history for the past 100 years. The museum website gives a proud reminder that the first American to enter Germany after Armistice entered on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Cpl. Roy Holtz, a soldier from Chippewa Falls, WI. Before that, Harley-Davidson had sold motorcycles to the U.S. military during the Border War on the Mexican-American Border from 1910 to 1919.