My Visit to the WWII Museum Memorial Day Weekend
As luck would have it, this weekend I finally got a chance to visit the WWII Museum in New Orleans. It seemed like a great weekend to finally check it out (with it being Memorial Day weekend) and I’m really glad we did. This museum is a real treasure and the organizers, including Tom Hanks, really did this one right.
As for the overall thoughts on the museum, all I can say is “Wow.”
A global story told on an individual level
The museum does an unbelievable job of telling the story in a manner which makes you appreciate each one of the men and women that served. The photos, stories and detail are laid out in such a manner as to help you appreciate what the individual men and women went through as well as capturing the essence of the overall conflict on a global scale. So while you definitely got the big picture, you also read the letters and heard the stories of individuals that could have been one of your own family members.
Celebrating Victory Without the “Rah Rah”
Perhaps the most noticeable thing (at least to me) was that the museum told the story of the evil threat that was the Axis. They also told the story of the heroism of the US and Allied Troops and ultimately how they won the war.
But the interesting part was that while they celebrated the victory of WWII, they also consistently remembered its human cost. In fact, the video presentation starts with a reminder that more than 65 million people were killed in WWII. And throughout the video and the museum you are continually reminded that this was the worst, most damaging conflict in human history.
So after touring the museum and watching the video you are touched by the story – but at no point do you feel like standing up and cheering that we won the war. You are left with the feeling of “Thank God we won – but what a terrible cost to everyone” which is ultimately the feeling I think the museum is looking to give it’s visitors.
Reminder of My Family Members Who Served
So on Memorial Day I’d like to give a special remembrance to my grandfather, Lester Boos who served in the Navy as a radarman on an aircraft carrier. He passed away a few years ago. I’d also like to remember my other grandfather David Savoie who served in the Army as a tank repair specialist. Many thanks to both of them, as well as all of our US Armed forces veterans for their service and sacrifice to our country. Especially for those who paid the ultimate price with their lives.