Opening February 15, 2017, Heroes Hall is a year-round tribute to Orange County veterans and others who have served our nation. The museum includes both rotating and permanent exhibits, as well as unique educational experiences. Situated on a section of land that was once part of the Santa Ana Army Air Base (SAAAB) during World War II, OC Fair & Event Center is now the permanent home of Heroes Hall, which was once a two-story barrack building that has been preserved from the original SAAAB.
A Medal of Honor Courtyard and Walk of Honor has been constructed just outside of Heroes Hall. At the center of the Medal of Honor Courtyard is a 36,000-pound, 50-foot-wide cement star that is based on the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military honor awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Surrounding the Courtyard is the Walk of Honor, two semicircles of pillars with plaques honoring Orange County veterans who received distinguished military honors, local veterans who served in the Korean War, World War I and World War II, and local veterans who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
The inaugural exhibitions include:
The SAAAB Story exhibit pays tribute to veterans, former SAAAB residents and celebrities Joe DiMaggio, Gene Autry, Joseph Heller and Don the Beachcomber in addition to special units such as the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Chinese National Air Force Detachment, Tuskegee Airmen, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Navajo Talkers. Located on the 2nd Floor.
The Things They Carried is based the book of the same name by Tim O’Brien, and features stories about Vietnam War veterans as told through text, photography, film, audio, digital media, art and personal items. Additional narratives and objects will be included from Orange County veterans from World War II up to current military involvement in the Middle East. Located on the 1st Floor. Exhibitions will changes semi-annually.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.