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Murtha exhibit will use virtual reality to remember him

JOHNSTOWN -- The John P. Murtha Center for Public Service opens on the campus of Pitt Johnstown next month, and it will tell visitors about congressman Murtha's life in a new way.

John Murtha represented Pennsylvania's 12th District in Congress for nearly 40 years, making him the longest-serving congressman in Pennsylvania history.

The virtual reality technology at the center will allow visitors to put on headsets and feel as if they're in Murtha's office watching him work.

David Luciew is working on the exhibit for Concurrent Technologies Corp. He said this technology can change the way people learn about history.

"The first time you put on a virtual reality headset, you're just blown away by the fact that you can bring that person into your present-day experience," he said.

Ron Punako is also working on the exhibit. For him, virtual reality is a better way to experience something than looking at it on a screen or reading about it in a book.

"You can actually see the person, see what they're wearing, you can hear the inflection in their voice as they're speaking and so forth," he said.

Luciew said the project is a way to honor Murtha.

"He put so much time and energy and he did so much for this area. It's almost like he is still working for Johnstown," he said.

The center is scheduled to open on April 6.

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