The new National Treasures Exhibit offically opened yesterday (09/28/07) inside the The American Heritage Gallery at Epcot's American Adventure. Deb Wills, Deb Koma and myself had the privilege of attending the dedication ceremony which featured a short speech by Disney Legend, Marty Sklar.
A special group of the invited dignitaries with family ties to the collection were invited to attend this special ceremony. They included among others, Betty Grisson, wife of the late Mercury 7 Astronaut Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Sharon Robinson, daugther of legendary baseball hero and American Icon Jackie Robinson and Christine Chavez, whose grandfather was Mexican American labor activist and leader of the United Farm Workers, Ceasar Chavez.
The Voices of Liberty singers performed This Land Is Your Land, We The People and finished with Golden Dreams which brought tears to many people's eyes including everyone from the AllEars Team.
Jim MacPhee, new Vice President of EPCOT, has been with Disney for the past 29 years and his last position was Vice President of Park Operations.
John Herrtington, retired Navy Commander and former NASA Shuttle Astronaut who traveled to the International Space Center on the Shuttle Endeavour in 2002 talked about his Native American roots. The flute featured in the National Treasures Space exhibit area was taken into space by Commander Herrtington because of the special meaning this item has to his heritage. He is the first member of a Native American Tribe to fly in space.
Horace Axtell, Nez Perce Elder and leader of the Seven Drum Religion on the Nez Perce Reservation gave the blessing for the National Treasures Exhibit. Prior to the blessing we were reminded that photos were not permitted during this part of the ceremony. I am happy to say that everyone including the Disney cameraman complied.
Local Jazz Vocalist, DaVonda Simmons performed Amazing Grace.
Disney Legend Marty Sklar was the final speaker before the invited dignitaries entered the exhibit followed by the rest of us. His final words were a quote from Herman Melville "Our blood is as the flood of the Amazon, made up of a thousand noble currents all pouring into one". These words also appear over the entry of the National Treasures Exhibit.
Mexican musicians entertained us as we enter the exhibit.
Horace Axtell posed for the photos next to the portrait of Chief Joseph.
This was truly a Magical Moment for me!
The previous post in this blog was Epcot's American Heritage Gallery ReOpens.
The next post in this blog is Epcot's 25th Celebration Photo Gallery - Part 1.