One of my things every summer is to visit the National WWII Museum. I have this real interest in it; my sweet PawPaw z”l served in the 102nd Infantry and received a Purple Heart. My Uncle Monty landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day so that’s also really interesting to me. I never thought us being a particularly military family, although I have PawPaws who fought in every major war from WWII to the Revolution. I guess…this is just what American families have done all this time.
Now that I’m thinking of national war museums, besides the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, there’s the National WWI Museum in Kansas City MO, the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg PA, and…is this right? The Museum of the American Revolution is only now being built in Philadelphia?
Funny thing is, since I love museums so much, you can imagine how tickled I was last summer to be walking to the WWII Museum and pass these banners for the ‘Museum of Trade, Finance, and The Fed’ in front of the Federal Reserve branch on St. Charles. Never heard of it, and I think to myself that I know museums. So I walked in — well, with a Fed branch you don’t exactly walk in, there is serious security there — declared, sweetly, via microphone to a security guard on the other side of everything-proof glass that I was there to see the museum they had banners up for, and lo and behold (you just have to imagine what a museum person I am for this to be anywhere as fabulous for me as it was) *I was their first, first, first museum visitor!* Squee!
Guess what? They don’t allow pictures. And the museum was in the foyer really, right there with the security guard, so it’s not large. But it was nice. And at the end you can email someone a picture of you on a fake piece of currency, so Av got this email from the Fed…of me looking all goofy and tickled in very harsh this-is-a-bank-for-banks lighting. Ah. Good times…good times…
So. Got to the WWII Museum, did the film first as usual — it’s called ‘Beyond All Boundaries’ and the first part of it is done with Tom Hanks narrating. It’s not just a movie — it’s what they call a 4-D experience. It’s terrific! Really terrific. But our kids won’t be going to it until they’re late-teens and know that the world hasn’t always been a fabulous place (and the movie has graphic images of…well…us. Jewish people. So it’s especially hard. It’s not for kids at all.). But the movie is done so well that it really puts you in the right frame of mind to see the rest of the museum exhibits.
I will say, though, that the newish USS Tang experience, which is at additional charge, is not as successful — it’s set so that participants have different jobs to do in a submarine setting and it’s so hard to understand a.) what you’re being asked to do because the acoustics are so weird and b.) if what you’re doing is making any difference (and that’s built-in, but still…why give me something to do if there’s no user feedback).
The museum itself is so worthwhile and put together really well.
Some of these images are from previous visits:
Rupert the dummy paratrooper — dropped en masse to give the illusion of a huge airborne drop, and they were dressed in uniform with recordings of gunfire and exploding mortar rounds for full effect:
These inflatable tanks were put in position to fool the Germans as to where the Allieds were actually located:
There are two John Besh restaurants at the museum as well. There’s the Soda Shop:
and the more substantial American Sector:
‘Crispy Hog’s Head Cheese, black-eyed peas, slow poached yard egg’:
Outside, American Sector’s own Victory Garden:
Av has been to a few fundraisers at the museum and it’s a great venue. Right now, there are two expansions coming up: Campaigns of Courage, and the Liberation Pavilion, which is planned to open in 2017.
BTW, if you are a DAR member or working on your paperwork, I’m working on mine (any advice appreciated!). I’m linking first to Captain Charles Polk Sr (DAR #A090125), and if (hello, internet) you’re related to Andrew McLarty #A077840, Thomas Shelby #A102544, Henry Hastings #A052619, George Kiker #A032705, James Morrison #A081070, Thomas Hawkins #A053548, William Littlefield II #A070721, or Andrew Hudlow #A059643, we’re michpocha (family)! Email me and let’s talk DAR!