The Regional Military Museum in Houma has honored its founder, C.J. Christ, by naming its main wing after him.
Several dozen museum supporters and guests gatherered for a ceremony Saturday at the atrium gallery that now bears Christ's name.
"Many of the artifacts you see here today were in mini storage throughout the parish or in attics. And C.J., with a passion and commitment and dedication, decided, let's do something about it to tell our story," Hunt Downer of Houma, a retired Louisiana National Guard major general and former state legislator, told the audience. "It's the story of those citizens from the bayou parishes who served our great country."
Christ, the museum's president emeritus, served in the Air Force during the Korean War and has researched the history of World War II in the Gulf of Mexico extensively. His work to found the museum, which opened in 2006 at 1154 Barrow St., and in other community endeavors earned him The Courier's annual Terrebonne's Most Useful Citizen Award for 2015.
Downer joked that those from the Air Force only read from a script. Christ quipped back, saying he was grateful for everyone attending.
"There were only two words in it. Thank you," Christ said.
The museum houses artifacts dating back to the Civil War and features multiple exhibits on military campaigns that shaped the history of south Louisiana and the world.
Board President Mart Black said many of the artifacts housed at the museum are the result of Christ's work.
"It was through this vision, dedication and drive that this building, this facility, this museum became a reality," Black said.
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Houma military museum dedicates wing to founder C.J. Christ