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Remember our history: Canteen women serving all troops

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -The canteen district is embedded into our community’s historical identity. The history of the North Platte Canteen efforts began on Dec. 17, 1941, when the families of soldiers gathered at the North Platte Depot. When the train arrived, the Nebraska soldiers were not onboard. Instead, the train had soldiers from the Kansas National Guard. Eventually, someone walked toward the soldiers and gave their gifts to the Kansas troops.

From there, the Canteen spirit became apart of our history. Troops stopping by North Platte would receive a warm welcome from the women of the North Platte canteen. Volunteers worked together to provide soldiers with cakes and cookies along with stamps for soldiers to purchase items.

The Canteen district holds a place in history for their giving hearts rallied behind a community. A deeper look at the work the women of the Canteen did shows that soldiers were served no matter their race.

“It didn’t matter what color you were, or what rank you were. It was where you got in line and got food,” said Curator Director Jim Griffin at Lincoln County Historical Museum.

The women of the Canteen embraced all troops who stopped by. Their energy laid the foundation for the same spirit seen in the community of North Platte today.

“How can we take the good things and say this is what we need to do? The canteen spirit is how we need to model ourselves and build on that,” said Griffin.

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