KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – A new exhibit at the Klamath County Museum recounts the life of Ernest Brace, a longtime Klamath Falls resident who endured nearly eight years as a civilian prisoner of war, including several months in a prison cell next to the late Sen. John McCain.
An opening reception for the Ernest Brace exhibit will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 – the same day a memorial service for McCain will be held in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Brace died in December 2014. His widow, Nancy Brace, will attend the reception Saturday at the museum. Admission is free.
“Our exhibit includes numerous items which Mrs. Brace donated from Ernie’s large collection of memorabilia,” said Niles Reynolds, curator at the Klamath County Museum. “Among the most precious items is a letter from Sen. John McCain, congratulating Ernie for his reception of a Purple Heart in 2013.”
Brace published a book, “A Code To Keep,” that documented the years he spent in captivity in Laos and North Vietnam. The book, first published in 1988, includes a forward by McCain.
During their imprisonment in North Vietnam, Brace and McCain communicated for months by sending messages to each other in code. In his 2013 letter to Brace, McCain said those messages helped keep his spirits up.
“Without you as a neighbor, I don’t know if I would have had the hope necessary to make it through the remainder of our captivity,” McCain wrote. “To this day, I vividly remember and cherish the Sunday night storytelling sessions we had as neighbors.”
For more information contact the museum, 1451 Main St., at (541) 882-1000.
Press release provided from the Klamath County Museum.