WWII Brought to Life
Landing craft used for amphibious landings of troops and equipment in WWII were built by Andrew Higgins and Higgins Industries of New Orleans. Originally opened as the D-Day Museum, The National WWII Museum founding historian Stephen Ambrose (of Band of Brothers fame), wished to pay tribute to Higgins. That is the reason this museum is in New Orleans.
On par with the 911 Memorial in NYC, The National WWII Museum is a must-see for every school-age child and adult. It is a reason to come to New Orleans.
The completely interactive facility issues each participant a “dog tag” and the option to follow a soldier through the exhibits. You can select your own or let the computer take care of it. In any case, these are real men and women. I let the computer choose, and followed a Japanese-American medic through his experience in Europe and as a German POW.
You begin your journey boarding a Union-Pacific train to your basic training location. This museum is high-tech and uses all the latest bells and whistles to bring history to life. If you think you knew everything about WWII, guess again. Not only are the exhibits, videos, oral histories, memorabilia and re-creations incredibly informative, the experience can be very emotional when you picture relatives who served and try to imagine what they went through.
The museum is officially recognized by Congress and is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, but is an independent not-for-profit. The delightful volunteer docents were readily available to fill in the blanks and answer questions. The campus has four buildings, a parade area, and the Liberation Pavilion is in the planning stages. Each building has ample bathrooms and plenty of spots to sit.
An added bonus is the inclusion of a couple of quality spots to eat. The American Sector café has outstanding food and service (and, naturally, a complete bar).
Through the years, many of my friends and I have discussed that our Fathers never really talked about the war. Now we can understand.
Need to know:
General admission tickets $23, $20 for Seniors, and $14 for Students & Military; WWII Vets, free. Options include “Final Mission” interactive submarine experience and “Beyond All Boundaries” a 45 minute 4D movie. The movie can be added at any time. For details and info: www.nationalww2museum.org
Daily Trivia Questions (answers next post):
Name two countries not occupied by Germany during WWII?
On what date did Germany unconditionally surrender in WWII?
Last post’s trivia answers:
Which Manning has a home in the Garden District? Archie
How much does NOLA charge for a shot of Pappy Van Winkle’s? $135