Hatteberg's People - Harold Tilton

By: Larry Hatteberg Email
By: Larry Hatteberg Email

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January 16th, 2011

On Hatteberg's People, a fascination with the military and his own experience in the Korean War has given Harold Tilton of Sterling, a love of military history. So taken was he with collecting memorabilia, that he created his own private museum that sits adjacent to his home.

(President Harry Truman) "We know that the cost of freedom is high. But we are determined to preserve our freedom no matter what the cost."

(Harold Tilton) "It's a fantastic day. The sun is out and when the sun is out, I'm ready to go."

It's a cold winter walk from Harold Tilton's home to a place you might call history's storeroom.

(1940's Newsreel) "Old glory proudly waved from the island's highest peak."

From every war, In a building built specifically to house his collection of military artifacts, Tilton created a small private military museum.

"Because it's fun and I enjoy it. I never imagined I would have this much. It just kept growing and growing with more interest and more interest."

One of his 'interests' is an unusual part of his collection and that is military saddles, from both this country and Europe.

"I have 32 military saddles. I wish these uniforms, even the saddles, could talk to me and tell me where they rode and who rode them maybe, what battle they might have been in. It would be very important if they could talk to us."

Uniforms from every service and from overseas are everywhere. Manikins stand like frozen sentries overseeing his vast collection.

"This is a Marine officers sword. It's all engraved. You know you have something in your hand could be lethal, but is beautiful to look at even."

(1951 Newsreel) "A tired and chilled United Nations army found themselves chilled and battling for their lives on all fronts as the communist superiority threatened to cut them off from all supplies."

Tilton began collecting when he brought some patches back from his tour of duty during the Korean War in the early '50's.

"Since I did serve, that did drive it home. It made me look at history from a different perspective."

Now, he teaches students to remember the past so they don't repeat it.

"They should remember, as I did, what a lot of people went through. They might have to serve and do the same thing."
"I'm just an ordinary guy who was put on this earth and blessed by the good Lord in a lot of different ways."

"I feel great, and I've accomplished something that is worthwhile and now I can rest."

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