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‘Sweetheart jewelry’ still shines on Valentine’s
By DeAllous Smith

“Sweetheart jewelry” has found a home at Hartsfield-Jackson. In partnership with the National Museum of Patriotism, the Airport Art Program is displaying a collection of beautiful, wartime keepsakes in a permanent exhibit between the Terminal North baggage claim and the Airport’s MARTA station entrance.

During World War II, sending mementos known as sweetheart jewelry to soldiers was a popular tradition, which had started during World War I. In addition to writing letters, families, wives and girlfriends shipped handcrafted jewelry as another way to stay connected with the soldiers.

“Observers can instantly feel the connection that was shared through these sentimental items,” said Katherine Marbury, Airport Art Program manager. “Whether in the form of a necklace, bracelet, locket or pin, these pieces allowed many families to express their patriotism and support for the soldiers serving overseas.”

The Airport’s collection also includes jewelry made by soldiers and sent to loved ones back home. These pieces, often called “Pacific War art,” were similar to the “trench art” of World War I.

Soldiers would pound, mold, hammer and polish any available piece of metal, plastic or seashells to make the jewelry. Aluminum and windshields from downed aircraft were used to craft bracelets, necklaces, pendants and pins.

“This collection appeals to everyone, beyond jewelry lovers and military enthusiasts,” Marbury said. “Travelers of all ages will appreciate viewing these heartfelt mementos.”

To learn more about the National Museum of Patriotism, which is in Atlanta, visit the Web site at www.museumofpatriotism.org.

For a listing of other permanent or rotating exhibits at Hartsfield-Jackson, visit the Airport’s Web site at www.atlanta-airport.com.

“Sweetheart jewelry” from World War II is displayed in cases at the Airport. Hartsfield-Jackson’s collection is presented in partnership with the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta.

© 2010 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

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