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Cedar Rapids Museum Gets National Recognition

Today is a very big day for the national Czech and Slovak Museum and Library.

 It received the highest honor a museum can get and folks gathered at the museum to watch the ceremony that took place at our nation’s capital.

Donna Merkle says she loves the national Czech and Slovak museum and library; in fact she's half Czech and moved to Cedar Rapids to be close to something that holds her heritage.

"I think it's extremely important for preserving the Czech and Slovak culture and I think it's important to get that message out to the public,” she said.

That message came out loud and clear from the white house, as the museum got the National Medal for Museum and Library Service presented by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Members of the community, like Donna, gathered at the Czech theater in the museum to watch the ceremony.

"It did a lot of Czech village but also for the rest of Cedar Rapids, I think a lot of people saw it as a beacon of hope after the floods,” said Sonya Darrow who joined the viewing party.

The museum's contribution to the community is a big reason for its award and folks at the museum say the award is just the beginning of bigger things.

"There are so many exciting things in store for us and we just hope people who haven't been to visit us before or who haven't been here in a while will come and join us and see for themselves,” Rob Merritt, director of communications for the museum.

"It's a way to share that culture and with others,” Merkle said.

Many who came to watch the award today said the same thing.
They see the award as a community honor.

They also say it shows just how much the museum has helped to bring the Czech village back to life.
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