ALEXANDRIA, La May 27, 2011 — Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring American men and women who died in service to our country. Generation after generation of brave Americans answered the call, and far too many paid the ultimate price by giving their lives to ensure that we have this most precious gift of freedom.
Freedom is an abstract topic, and one that is especially hard for younger children to comprehend. As parents, one way we can help our children understand why it’s important to remember and honor these brave individuals is to take them to visit a service-related museum or memorial, like the National World War II museum that is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This place is truly awesome - and humbling. From the moment you enter the building, there’s no doubt where you are—and why you are there.
Walking through the various sections gives visitors a chance to step back through time and experience a brief moment of what it was like to live in a time when innocence was the norm, and the way WWII changed lives forever.
This museum has displays suitable for all ages, from toddlers to adults. Every exhibit draws you into the saga of World War II, from the massive airplanes suspended from the ceiling, to the interactive audio and visual programs that explain in detail what each museum area represents.
More importantly, the story unfolds through the comments of the men and women who served during World War II. You hear their voices, their feelings, which makes each display that much more poignant.
Many of the volunteers at the museum are WWII veterans. If you want to know what really happened – from someone who was there – all you have to do is ask one of the volunteers. They’ll be glad to share their experiences.
Every picture, wall mural and display works in tandem to provide vivid, realistic portrayals of what it was like to fight in the jungles of the Pacific, the cities in Europe and the landing at Normandy.
The museum also does a wonderful job of portraying the seldom-told view of the war from those working at home to build ships, munitions, planes, tanks, etc. for the troops.
You may want to end your tour by watching the museum’s film, Beyond All Boundaries that runs from seven days a week, hourly from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with an additional 5 pm showing on Friday and Saturday in the Solomon Victory Theater.
Shown on a massive, 120-feet wide immersive screen, the film is narrated by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks, and serves as a magnificent tribute to those who fought in World War II. Beyond All Boundaries is an absolute “MUST SEE” for every visitor.
Here’s a snippet of what kind of experience you can expect while viewing the film:
- Seats shake as German planes released their bombs on the streets of London, walls vibrate at the exact moment Japanese planes careened into American ships in Pearl Harbor, and a vast sea of red and orange engulfs the screen as atomic bombs exploded in Japan.
- One word of advice: Bring tissues. When we watched the film, men and women alike (including this writer) wept unashamedly as the heart wrenching images of emaciated individuals rescued from German concentration camps flash onscreen, and the entire story of World War II unfolded in one immersive detail after another.
If nothing else in the museum drives home the idea of why it is so important to fight aggression, this film will accomplish that goal. Once you view Beyond All Boundaries, you will never, ever view war—any war—in the same way again.
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans serves as a testament to the countless men and women who answered the call to serve their country during World War II, and the millions world-wide who died so freedom could live. It provides a realistic view of the horrific brutality and devastation war brings in terms of injury, destruction and tragic loss of life.
Freedom is NOT free—it is earned through the sacrifice of those who fight against tyranny, oppression and despotism. May the bells of freedom ring loud and long, and may we never forget those who died so freedom could live.
Carla’s latest suspense novel, Artful Misdirection, is currently available in Kindle format on Amazon.com! A native of Louisiana, she lives in Alexandria, LA, is also a contributing writer for Out and About Louisiana. Follow Carla on Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot and LinkedIn.
- Foyer exhibit National WWII Museum
- Full-size half-track in lobby
- Hawaii Paper recounting Pearl Harbor attack
- One of many markers from WWII throughout the building
- Floor bricks in the museum - names of those who served
- WWII Neighborhood Parade
- Poster remembering Pearl Harbor - WWII
- US Marine recruiting poster from WWII
- Tuskeegee Airmen eat a meal.
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