Saturday, May 23, 2015

The National World War II Museum


My husband and I took a trip to New Orleans in February (you can read part one and part two on these highlighted links, and a side trip to antebellum plantations on this link), and one of the places we visited was the highly acclaimed National World War II Museum. located in the central business district of New Orleans, Louisiana, at 945 Magazine Street.  Museum exhibits offer visitors an opportunity to experience the war through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. Interactives, oral histories, personal vignettes all add a very meaningful perspective to a visit.

(All photos, and photo collages, in this post can be enlarged for easier viewing if clicked on)


As we were staying in a hotel in the French Quarter, we took a streetcar a few stops across town to the museum. As you can see from the collage above, the museum is the ranked by Trip Advisor as the number 1 attraction in New Orleans, and as the number 4 museum in the country, and the number 11th in the world! You can see a model of the museum building in the lower right corner of the collage.
The 4D movie we saw on our visit was called "Beyond All Boundaries," narrated by actor Tom Hanks.  The movie is an optional feature, but I highly recommend it as a refresher to the history of WWII. It is shown in a specially built theater that makes the film "come alive" with many effects. A preview of this movie can be seen on this Youtube link.


The museum has been designated by Congress as the official WWII Museum of the United States. It is located on a 6 acre campus, and presently consists of five soaring pavilions that house historical exhibits, on site restoration work, a period dinner theater, and restaurants. The construction of two more pavilions are planned in the coming years.


Actual vehicles and equipment used in the war are on display in one of the pavilions.... 


Some of the land vehicles on display...


...and some of the airplanes, used in the war, are also on display, hanging from the high ceiling.


An elevator takes you up to one of two levels, where you can walk along gangplanks and see the airplanes and other exhibits.


On level two you are at eye level with the airplanes....


 ..and level three  you look down on the airplanes--it is a wonderful way to see their size and all their details.


There are also actual jackets worn by the WWII pilots of the airplanes on display, along with stories about the missions they flew.


Another optional feature we experiences was the Final Mission of the USS Tang Submarine. in this intimate and personal experience 27 visitors per "patrol" are given a "watch bill" representing a specific crew member, and many will be "enlisted" to perform specific tasks to navigate through the battle. My husband and I manned the torpedo launches. At the end of the experience, the visitors will find out if they were among those lost or one of the few survivors of the sea battle.


The submarine fleet  made up just 1.6% of the Navy, but it destroyed more enemy ships than any other single type of vessel
.

Another feature of the museum is a "train ride" where you are picked up from your home town and sent off to report for service in the armed forces.


After disembarking the train you go to a kiosk where you get the "dog tags" and description for a soldier that you can now follow through the exhibits.


 The 3D walk through exhibits of the war torn battle areas of both Europe and the Pacific were mesmerizing to walk through! You find out the role the person, whose dog tag you carry, played in the war.  It makes the experience very personal.


There were many short films to watch and many artifacts on display


At the end of these exhibits one could listen to actual recordings of WWII veterans telling their personal stories of their experiences in the war, in the Oral History Database.  You can also listen to a few featured on the web site on this link.  There was also a database for the Medal of Honor recipients of WWII.


All of the United States services were represented-- the Marines, the Army, the Air Force. the Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marines.


On this Memorial Day weekend let us remember the 407,316 brave men and women who gave all for our country during their service in World War II.

The number of deaths and wounded around the world of both military and civilians as a result of WWII is mind staggering. Let us hope and pray that there will be an end to all war. That all countries, religions, races can one day learn to live in peace!


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34 comments:

Snap said...

Wonderful post for Memorial Day. I'd say the two of you are enjoying retirement! There is so much to see in the USofA. Heehaw!

Jeanne said...

Wonderful post for Memorial Day weekend Pat. I would love to see it one day. We visited the World War I museum in Kansas City a couple of years ago. We couldn't take photos. It too was a wonderful part of our history. Sad, but we should never forget.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.
Hugs,
Jeanne

Barb said...

Your hopes are my hopes, too, Pat. This is a great post for Memorial Weekend. My F-i-L, now 92, served in WWII. He was just a teen, and the experience molded his life.

happywonderer.com said...

What a great museum. A great post for this weekend.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Wow- I would LOVE to visit here. Thanks for the tour!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I visited an earlier incarnation of the museum years ago when it was called the National D Day Museum. It looks like it has grown tremendously since then.

Great tour, thank you.

Betsy Adams said...

Hi There, Happy Pentecost today. Hope you are wearing your RED....

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you and yours also. Let's never forgot those who died for our freedoms... God Bless them ALL.

Perfect post for today... What an awesome museum. Thanks for sharing.

Sorry I haven't been around much. George and I have a couple of new online programs (one is a Food Journal and one a fitness/exercise program) --so we are VERY busy increasing our exercise and getting healthier... That's my excuse and I'm sticking' with it... ha ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Daniela said...

What a wonderful museum, dear Pat, I wonder how interesting to visit it was ...you know how much I do love history and just can imagine how I'd love to be there by your side !
Have a beautiful Sunday and new week ahead
X
Sending much love
Your friend
Dany

The Gathering Place said...

What a great place for remembering the service of so many wonderful vets. It looks full of interesting displays. Happy Memorial Day!

Lorrie said...

What a great place to visit to remember the sacrifices so many made for your country.

Gemma Wiseman said...

The museum looks like an intriguing, informative place. The pavilion has a wonderful display of memories from the war.

diane b said...

It is an amazing museum. I was disappointed that Bill didn't want to go inside when we were there. He doesn't like anything to do with wars. I like you hope that one day the world can live in Harmony.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

What an interesting museum; this is the first I've heard about it! Thanks for sharing.

Happy Blue Monday!

Ann said...

Oh my husband would so enjoy the airplanes, he was a B52 mechanic in the Air Force during Vietnam.
Ann

LV said...

Thanks for another tour of New Orleans through your lens. Was thee many years ago, but I am sure it is not the same.

Vee said...

Hmmm...very interesting. If anyone had asked me where the official U.S. WW II museum was, I'd never have guessed New Orleans. And it's been there since 2000. Yup, I'd be under a rock if it weren't for you.

Love the story of Louis Zamperini...redemption and forgiveness are the greatest story ever told.

As an aside, my niece finally visited the Green~Wood Cemetery and was absolutely in awe. I had been telling her that she needed to visit and she just let me know that she had and loved it and will be returning.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

How timely to share this post with all the wonderful photos of the museum. This something both my hubby and I would enjoy touring.
Happy Memorial Day Pat, thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

Fun60 said...

What an impressive Museum.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, this is an awesome post for Memorial Day. The museum is wonderful, so many great exhibits. Thanks for sharing your visit and tour. Great photos. Have a happy week ahead!

Donna said...

I had no idea there was an official WWII museum...fabulous...would have loved to visit it with my uncle who was a veteran of the war.

Mari said...

That must be really interesting to be there, learn about history and remember those people.

ladyfi said...

What an interesting museum.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Such an interesting museum…we must visit the next time we are in New Orleans. A perfect post for Memorial day.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It looks very interesting. What a great post for Memorial Day.

Leovi - La FotografĂ­a Efectista Abstracta said...

Very nice photos, good catches, wonderful museum!

NatureFootstep said...

I´m glad it is history!

NC Sue said...

Great Memorial Day post.
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/05/tally-ho.html

Annesphamily said...

A nice share Pat. Thanks for this and all the nice photos too. Have a great week.

Patrick weseman said...

Great post. I really need to go there. You make me want to go there.
Thanks for sharing.

http://csuhpat1.blogspot.com/2015/05/carnaval-san-francisco-2015.html

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I'm very late visiting, but a lovely tribute post any time ever. You do a lovely job of conducting tours. Almost as if we were there with you.

La Petite Gallery said...

This is awesome, wish I could go.
Maybe I will fly to Dallas and get my friend to go with me.
Sure will put it on my bucket list.
Thanks for this post.
yvonne

Roz Corieri Paige said...

Wow, what a must-see museum! Tremendous photo journey too! Thanks for sharing your visit with us Pat.

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Another wonderful tour...and so appropriate! Thank you for sharing! I have nominated you for the Leibster Award! If you have a minute, check out my blog post for the information on what to do: http://fromparsimonioustoperfection.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-leibster-award.html#.VWpyRizbI5s

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

It's been too long since I've been to New Orleans! Looks like you had a great time!