(CBS) — A western suburban exhibit that made its debut this Memorial Day gives visitors an up close and personal look at the First World War.

Rena Church, Director and Curator of the Aurora Public Art Commission, said a walk through the David L. Pierce Art and History Center in Downtown Aurora isn’t like a walk through your average exhibit.

“There are artifacts that maybe you’ve never seen before,” Church said. “For example, we have a mess kit that a soldier ate from, and he inscribed all of the battles that he fought in World War I. That’s on display and it’s pretty amazing to see.”

And there’s plenty of other things to see — more than 80 World War I artifacts, including dog tags, photos, uniforms and a life-sized replica of a war trench.

“When you go in it, it’s absolutely the way it would have been built.”

For visitors like Richard Howard, a U.S. Army veteran who never met his grandfather who served in World War I, the artifacts and images mean a little more.

“A place like this helps us to formulate in our minds an understanding of what things looked like at that time,” Howard said.

The exhibit, titled “With the Colors from Aurora: A Memorial to the First World War,” runs through the first week of January.


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