Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nimitz Texas Barbecue

Do you love good Texas barbecue and cold beer? How about helping a good cause?

We're bringing back Admiral Chester Nimitz' old tradition of hosting a Texas barbecue. During times of both war and peace, while in the territories of Hawaii and Guam Admiral Nimitz would host a barbecue for the Texans, and those who wished they were Texans! It was a great way to have a few hours of good food and fun while being temporarily distracted from their military duties.

We'll have barbecue from the Corpus Christi Mustangs, cold beer, live music from 'Almost Patsy Cline,' dancing, a silent auction and someone will win the ATV raffle! Some of the great auction items include bed and breakfast stays in Fredericksburg, a half day bird hunt at Santa Anna Hunting Ranch and some bottles of local Texas wine! We're counting on great spring weather and promising a good time. Sounds like a good break from the daily grind, right?

Our event will be held in the Memorial Courtyard at the museum. All proceeds will go to the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund-Build the Center. For ticket prices and purchasing, go to www.Nimitz-museum.org/event_2010BBQ.asp

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letters to Veterans

Inside the Nimitz Museum and the George H.W. Bush Gallery at the National Museum of the Pacific War, you can find tables set up with an opportunity to write a letter to a wounded veteran. All letters are sent to the wounded at BAMC as a small token of appreciation from the men, women and children who visit our museum and take part in this activity. Some of the letters stand out as being particularly thoughtful; I thought this would be a good place to share a few from time to time.

Dear Soldier,
Thank you for standing on our front lines with the heart of a lion. For standing tall where others flee. For fighting for our country so freedom can stay and live on. Thank you.
I support you!

Dear Hero,
Words cannot describe the deep appreciation that I hold for your service to this country, and for my family. My father served in the European Theater WWII, Patton’s 3rd. He received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. I attempted to serve but was disabled early in life. To men like me, you are what America means to me. Without you and your brothers, there would sorely be no America. No matter your circumstance, please know that you are special to us and we hold you up for your service.
God bless you and your family and never let anyone make you believe that you are anything less than a Hero!

Next time you are at the museum, stop and write a quick letter. It will bring a smile to the face of a wounded hero and make you feel proud at the same time!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thank a Veteran

The National Museum of the Pacific War is proud to have been chosen to participate in the HBO Pacific Tribute Campaign. HBO is launching a video tribute campaign to honor WWII veterans as well as those men and women who serve in today’s military simultaneously with their new Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman series, The Pacific.

A kiosk has been placed in the lobby of the new George H. W. Bush Gallery at the National Museum of the Pacific War that allows visitors to record a video “thank you” message either for a specific individual or to a general audience of veterans. It is easy to work, all you have to do is press “record” and you can see yourself as it is recording. At the conclusion you have an option to send your recorded message to a specific person. Then, all clips will go to HBO where a body of them will be selected for a montage that will go on HBO’s webpage.

“We’re delighted to be part of this national project to let our troops know how much we appreciate their dedication to serving our country. Our museum is committed to honoring those who served our country in World War II and recognizing the sacrifices and contributions of our active duty service men and women – and their families.” –Helen McDonald, Director of Programs for the Admiral Nimitz Foundation

To make a recording for this campaign, just visit our museum. If you have a webcam and want to do it from home, you can download the widget at http://metv.apsoluta.com/install/pacific_widget.html or go to http://www.nimitz-museum.org/pdf/HBOTributeCampaign_Museum_PressRelease2.pdf for a complete list of museums involved.

“We are honored to help provide an opportunity for friends, family, neighbors and everyday citizens to thank veterans and active duty military members for their service to our country. Our hope is that the faces and voices in these personal video messages will demonstrate the true, heartfelt gratitude our nation owes to the men and women of our armed forces.” –Zach Enterlin, Vice President of Advertising and Promotions for HBO

This is such a great opportunity we have been given. If you’re going to be at the museum between now and the end of May when the kiosk will be taken down, we hope you’ll stop and make a recording.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

7th War Loan Poster

From the new George H. W. Bush Gallery

7th War Loan Poster

This poster was designed by C.C. Beall, a commercial illustrator who drew comics and book covers. He used the famous Joe Rosenthal photo of the second Iwo Jima flag raising as the basis for his design. Rosenthal’s photo had been published as part of a news report on the battle and had made a profound impact on the American people. Beall’s poster was used as part of the campaign for the 7th War Loan tour, which began in May of 1945, just days after V-E Day. There was concern that victory in Europe might decrease bond sales. The use of the Iwo Jima image, as well as the three survivors of the flag raising speaking at stops along the way, were intended to increase patriotism and therefore boost bond sales. The tour was a success; the original goal of the drive-the highest goal of any war bond drive during the war-was surpassed.

The caption reads:

This World War II poster was personally autographed by the survivors of this flag raising [Rene Gagnon, James Bradley, and Ira Hayes] while they were traveling in Ohio to promote war bond sales. It is presented to Coach Darrell Royal as a token of my admiration and esteem of him as a leader of men.

Harold H. Bredlow

Executive Director-Ohio War Bond Sales 1941-1946

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break

Its Spring Break week in Texas and Fredericksburg is the hot-spot for many travelers! The weather is beautiful, the museum is selling raffle tickets for an ATV, the wineries are pouring their best, the shops all have open doors, and the restaurants are sure to be cooking up some delicious fare. Fredericksburg has long been a popular destination for families and younger crowds who don’t feel like braving the college beach scene and they are never let down after a getaway in the Texas Hill Country.

The museum will be open from 9 to 5 every day. Tickets are good for 48 hours so we welcome you to take a break for lunch and go check out some of the great food our town has to offer. But, don’t forget to come back and get that hour-long guided tour of the Combat Zone in. At the end of the first day, head out and see some live music and enjoy some good German food and then come back to the museum the next day to finish up all of the exhibits. There’s so much to see here that we do encourage taking two days to see everything. And, a little added extra, we will be selling raffle tickets for an ATV in both the Nimitz Bookstore and the Bush Gallery Museum Store as well as in front of the Nimitz Museum all week. Tickets will be sold up until the drawing which will be held at the Nimitz Texas Barbecue on April 10, 2010. Stay tuned for more information on that event, you’ll want to come hang out for that one!

We hope to see some of you over Spring Break; it’s a really great time to be in Fredericksburg!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

HBO's 'The Pacific'

HBO's new series 'The Pacific' will begin airing this Sunday. There are ten episodes each lasting an hour and one episode will be shown every Sunday until the series is over. Check your cable listings for specific times. Go to www.HBO.com for more information on the series.

Last Saturday, the museum hosted a book-signing with two of the veterans whose stories are featured in the series, Mr. RV Burgin and Dr. Sid Phillips. Later that evening we showed the first episode of the series. The day was a success! Above are a few pictures from the day's events. Mr. Burgin is on the left in the photos and Dr. Phillips is on the right.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


From the new George H.W. Bush Gallery


Pennant designed by U.S. Navy officer Marion Miles, representing his personal motto, “What the hell”: The flag and motto were adopted by the Sino American Cooperative Organization (SACO), a U.S. naval intelligence unit stationed in China. When Japanese ships began shelling the Chinese island of Hainan in 1938 an American destroyer with Miles aboard was ordered to protect American missionaries who were ashore. The Japanese signaled the approaching destroyer that the port was closed. To their dismay Cdr Miles raised this pennant as the destroyer placed itself between the Japanese ships and the shore. The confused Japanese stopped their bombardment and the missionaries were evacuated later that day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First Annual Nimitz Golf Classic

Three months from today Boot Ranch and the National Museum of the Pacific War will be hosting the First Annual Nimitz Golf Classic. The day begins with a shot-gun start 18 hole game of golf at the exclusive Boot Ranch championship golf course. After the players finish their game, there will be a cocktail hour and tour of the new George H.W. Bush Gallery of the National Museum of the Pacific War for each player and guest. Following the tour, the golfer and guest will make their way over to the historic Nimitz Ballroom for a dinner and dance. During the evening event there will be a live-auction featuring both golf and WWII-centric items.

Early summer is a beautiful time to visit Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country. After all of this cold and wet weather, we’re expecting a bumper wildflower crop. Not only will the sights be appealing and the day full of fun, you’ll be benefiting two excellent causes as well: the educational programs at the National Museum of the Pacific War as well as the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

For more information and registration details visit www.PacificWarMuseum.org

And, we would like to send a big thank you to our major sponsor, Valero!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kids in WWII

For quite some time now, we have been working on a “Kids in WWII” project. We have a form in the Nimitz gallery for recollections of those who were young during the war. After all, the war was experienced by people of all ages on both the warfront and the homefront. There are so many remarkable stories from many different countries and I thought that this blog would be a great outlet to share some of them.

This story is of a man named Tom who was born in 1933 in Honolulu. The following are excerpts from his recollections.

“One of my friends and I were playing war out in our adjoining backyards. We saw these strange planes flying over and then saw what was probably anti-aircraft fire. We went into our respective homes and told the families that the Germans were attacking. Germans were the only ‘bad guys’ we knew of and many of our friends were Japanese.

My mother began providing home cooked meals to servicemen. They were pretty much a constant presence. They came with food and liquor, some from a chaplain and some that ‘fell off a truck.’ The effect of rationing was lessened by the efforts of these men. Mom cooked for as many as 50 men on the big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. She encouraged us kids (my brother was 13, my sister giving was 14) to bring the men home. Every man had to sign the guestbook and then mom wrote to the parents of each of them. By the end of the war, there were over 2000 names in the guest books… When we found out a man did not come back from the war, mom wrote to the parents.

Mom and I visited a few of those families in 1951, after I graduated from high school. It was a very emotional trip.

We favored enlisted men, but a few officers did get to come into the house. Mom had a rule that every man had to get out of his uniform shirt and put on an Aloha shirt. No rank was visible. One enlisted man found a pair of eagles on someone’s shirt in the closet and came out quite concerned and asked mom who the ‘full bird colonel’ was. Mom would not tell him.

When we got the news that the Japanese had surrendered, I made my mother angry by beating a hole in her favorite dish pan with a wooden spoon. That was on Ninth Street and the neighborhood was celebrating quite noisily.”

Hopefully this sort of recollection will connect today’s children to those of World War II and help us live out our motto, ‘We inspire our youth by honoring our heroes.’