A Veterans Day visit to the World War II Museum

Sofia Gilmore-Montero; Cassandra Jaskiewicz, News Editor; Assistant Layout Editor

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The World War II era was a tumultuous time to live, and no place in New Orleans demonstrates this better than the National World War II Museum.  Numerous exhibits spanning multiple buildings carefully examine each country’s role in World War II and provide a global view of its effects. The World War II Museum’s mission is to show how the war changed the world in a way that engages all generations, demonstrates the price of freedom and inspires everyone with stories of the soldiers that fought.

The Road to Tokyo and the Road to Berlin are two permanent exhibits featured in the museum. They depict major battles, soldiers and weapons, and they even house numerous items of great historic value in the displays. Each exhibit delves deeply into the fights against the Japanese and Germans that the American soldiers faced while providing letters, radio transcripts and news reports of the time.

The museum works hard to incorporate relevant and period-accurate backdrops that surround guests on their way through the exhibits. For example, if the battle occurred in a jungle, expect trees in the surrounding areas. If the soldiers are facing a harsh winter in a particular time frame of the war, then anticipate fake snow falling from above. This museum wastes no time on engaging all of your senses.

In the exhibit called “Arsenal of Democracy,” there is a strong focus on the United States’ war efforts. The title comes from a President Franklin Delano Roosevelt speech which applauded the working force of America. It emphasises that the victory could only be achieved with the help of each civilian, focusing on the industry and the labor of millions of Americans who stepped forward to support their nation and the world.

The current special exhibit, “The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II,” opened July 21 and is available until April 29. Louisiana changed with the industrial demands of World War II in order to contribute to the allied powers’ success. The exhibit recounts details of how Louisiana helped some of the greatest maneuvers of military history and readily supported its soldiers overseas.

The World War II Museum offers a short documentary called “Beyond All Boundaries,” which is narrated by Tom Hanks and takes the audience on a journey through the war with a 4-D experience. Bright flashes, loud noises, shaking chairs and even fake snow create the interactive experience. Admission is $5 with a general admission ticket.

The museum provides discounts for college students, military officers and seniors, and is free for World War II veterans.


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A Veterans Day visit to the World War II Museum