Thursday, May 27, 2010

America's White Table

During patriotic holidays, including Memorial Day, a model of America’s White Table will be set up to honor those men and women who serve(d) in the United States’ Armed Forces. The tradition of placing the table began with a group of Vietnam fighter pilots but has now extended to honor all of those serving this country all around the world. Margot Theis Raven, author of the children’s book, America’s White Table said, “The point is every single day of freedom is brought to you by that person who is not sitting there.”

The small table signifies one lone serviceman’s battle against many. The white cloth honors our comrade’s pure heart for answering his country’s call to duty. The lemon slice and grains of salt represent the captive serviceman’s bitter fate and the tears of his family awaiting his return. A black napkin is placed for the sorrow of captivity. The glass is upside down for the meal that won’t be eaten. The white candle and the red rose represent peace and hope for the serviceman’s return. The empty chair at the table is for the missing serviceman.

“You are not forgotten so long as there is one left in whom your memory remains.”

Monday is Memorial Day. If you are going to be around the Fredericksburg area, join us at 10:00 in the Memorial Courtyard for a Memorial Day Program. The program is free for all who wish to attend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Little Way to Say Thank You

The National Museum of the Pacific War and the Admiral Nimitz Foundation are proud to be part of a nationwide effort to honor and support today’s active duty Military including active duty Reserves and active duty National Guard. Blue Star Museums is a National Endowment for the Arts program that includes over 600 museums from all fifty states offering free admission to active duty personnel and up to five immediate family members. Free admission will begin on Memorial Day, May 31st, and last through Labor Day, September 6th. Free admission will get those who qualify into our entire site which includes the National Museum of the Pacific War, the Nimitz Museum, the Pacific Combat Zone and more free of charge. It does not include admission to the Living History Program - a special event that will be held the weekends of June 19th and 20th, July 3rd and 4th and September 4th and 5th. Those tickets are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students and are sold in advance at the Nimitz Museum and Bush Gallery front desks, as well as at the Pacific Combat Zone the day of the event.

The men and women of today’s military, along with their families, sacrifice so much for their country and the American people. It is our hope that this will be taken as a small thank you to those who put their lives in harm’s way day after day for our freedom. We invite all active duty military personnel and their families to come spend a day or two at our museum, on us.

For questions about identification requirements, a list off all participating museums or any other questions about the program, visit:

Thank you for all that you do and we hope to see you this summer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Every so often, the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and the National Museum of the Pacific War host authors of WWII books for author’s forms and booksignings. These events are always free to the public and books are available for purchase on site. They serve as a way for authors to promote their work as well as a way to keep people informed on the newest scholarship and literature dealing with WWII in the Pacific.

Recently we hosted Hugh Ambrose who talked about and signed his book, The Pacific, the companion to the HBO series. His book follows very closely the lives of five veterans who were there in the Pacific, “…instead of layering some oral histories onto a historical framework, I follow the lives of five veterans who, between them, experienced most of the key moments of the war,” wrote Ambrose. ‘The Pacific’ takes you from the beginning to end of the Pacific theater of WWII through the eyes of five men.

Just this last Saturday, John D. Lukacs was here discussing and signing his book, Escape from Davao. He dives into the untold story of ten American men, being held as POWs by the Japanese, making an escape from Davao Penal Colony in the Philippines. These men had all survived the Bataan Death March and were being held with Filipino criminals in what the Japanese thought was an inescapable facility. With the help of two Filipino inmates the escape was a success but the battle to tell their story would not end until long after they returned home after their daring getaway.

The afternoon of Memorial Day, May 31, at 2:00, author Bruce Gamble will be here with his new book, Fortress Rabaul. Rabaul was the headquarters for the Japanese Imperial Forces in the Southwest Pacific as well as the target for hundreds of missions by the American air forces. The island’s history from January 1942 to April 1943 is covered in Gamble’s latest book. The book has gotten great editorial reviews and we are really looking forward to having yet another exceptional writer to add to the list.

To stay updated on which authors are visiting the museum, check the website at or become a fan of the National Museum of the Pacific War on Facebook. Also, the authors sign all remaining copies of their book we have on site and they are available for sale while supplies last at both the Bush Gallery Museum Store and the Nimitz Bookstore.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We have been getting some great comments from people since the opening of the newly remodeled George H. W. Bush Gallery. We’d like to share a few of them with our readers and fans.

Absolutely wonderful & well done! What an excellent exhibit!

-L. W., Ontario

Wonderful. Will be talking to my brothers about sponsoring a plaque for our father who was on the USS OAKLAND on Okinawa. My grandfather was a mechanic with the AVG.

-G.R., Lodi, CA

Thank you for keeping history alive for the younger ones to experience and know the awful things of war and the freedom that we enjoy because of it.

-K.N., New York

Stunning architectural and exhibit design – very moving.

-B. D., Atlanta, GA

This is a fantastic museum. A fantastic tribute to the men and women who served and died in the Pacific War. Thank you for providing this museum for our children – may they never forget the terrible price paid for our freedom.

-Larry, Capt. USN (Ret)

Fantastic! I was h ere four years ago and what is now here is great!

-J. S., US Army (Ret)

Wish we could have stayed longer to read and see it all – was wonderful!

-J. L., Crest Hill, IL

What a Pleasure! My compliments to all the staff!

-H.A., Montana

Really enjoyed my visit yesterday! Wow what a GREAT job putting everything together and the video displays and flat screens were excellent!! The initial Japan/China history gave an insight I have never seen before. What a treasure to be proud of!!

-E. F., Facebook

And, we have also been listening to the concerns that have been voiced. We are currently in the process of making much more seating available throughout the exhibit.

Thank you all so much for your positive remarks! If you haven’t been to the newly re-modeled museum yet, come check it out. If you have been here, let us know what you think!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Armed Forces Day

“This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces… to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.” From a New York Times article published May 17, 1952.

Armed Forces Day was officially declared on August 31, 1949 by Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson and first celebrated on May 20, 1950. The day was created after the unification of all branches of the Armed Forces under one department – the Department of Defense. The Army, Navy and Air Force Leagues adopted the newly formed day in lieu of their own; the Marine Corps League chose not to drop their own day but agreed to support Armed Forces Day as well.

Armed Forces Day is always celebrated on the third Saturday in May, May 15 this year – the theme will be “United in Strength.”

There are many ways to honor the Armed Forces on this special day. Many military bases across the country host ‘open house’ events. Some local and area VFW posts will offer picnics for veterans and their families. And other sites will offer musical and other types of events in honor of those men and women who serve their country. For information on what is going on in you area, check your local paper or contact the Public Information Office at the closest military installation. If you’re going to be around the Fredericksburg area, we will be hosting an Author’s Forum and Book-signing. Mr. John D. Lukacs will be discussing and signing his book, Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War” at 1:30 in the West Exhibit Gallery of the George Bush Gallery.

In the words of Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, “Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Letters to Veterans

I just recently collected the letters to BAMC veterans that have been written by museum visitors. I am happy to say that once again, all of them were very gracious, sincere and heartfelt. Here is an example of one that was written not long ago.

Dear Sailor,

Thank you.

I don’t say it enough to the ones I know.

Thanks for committing, which is something I have trouble doing.

Thanks for sacrificing, something I’m scared to do.

Thanks for caring enough to enlist in the first place.

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I wish I did.

I’ll write again.


Many of these men and women are away from their families and through this simple program; we are hoping to give them a ray of light in their day.

To all veterans of all wars, thank you!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday - don’t forget. Be creative. Sure flowers and a card are a nice gift, but give her something she’s not expecting this year.

The Bush Gallery Museum Store, the Nimitz Bookstore and the Admiral Nimitz Foundation Online Museum Store have some great ideas. Here are just a few:

For the patriotic mom – the first lady of your family.

Fine crystal and enamel set in gold tone jewelry lets your mom show her patriotism in style. Pictured above are only a few of the pieces available. There are more styles of pins and earrings available in-store and on-line.

Metal water bottles are all the rage right now. They’re reusable and lightweight. These aluminum water bottles come with two lids, one for sipping and one for stopping. They also come with a handy carabiner clip so you can attach it to your pack while enjoying the outdoors. Pair it with the Rosie the Riveter lunchbox and you’ve got a sharp and eco-friendly set for the working mom. Both items include a color image of the “We Can Do It!” poster and the lunchbox includes six other “Women on the Home Front” poster images from WWII.

Check out the website at for more ideas. If you’re in the Fredericksburg area, visit one of the stores and see what we’ve got to offer. Show your mom you care with something memorable this year.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Plaza of Presidents

Between the George H. W. Bush Gallery and the Memorial Courtyard, is the Plaza of Presidents. All ten presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George H. W. Bush served the United States either militarily or as Commander-in-Chief during the four years of the United States’ involvement in World War II.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

United States Commander-in-Chief, 1941-1945

“As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. Long will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt – 32nd President of the United States – 1933-1945

Harry S. Truman

United States Commander-in-Chief, 1945

“We must work to bind up the wounds of a suffering world – to build an abiding peace, a peace rooted in justice and in law.”

Harry S. Truman – 33rd President of the United States – 1945-1953

Dwight D. Eisenhower

General of the Army, United States Army

Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, 1943-1945

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower – 34th President of the United States – 1953-1961

John F. Kennedy

Lieutenant, United States Navy Reserve

Service in the Pacific, 1943

“…the courage of a man who does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, is the basis of all human morality.”

John F. Kennedy – 35th President of the United States – 1961-1963

Lyndon B. Johnson

Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy Reserve

Service in the Pacific, 1942

“President Roosevelt wanted his own eyes and ears in the filed. I was the Navy Officer picked to go.”

Lyndon B. Johnson – 36th President of the United States – 1963-1969

Richard M. Nixon

Lieutenant, United States Navy Reserve

Service in the Pacific, 1943-1944

“Our people have always done their best work when the odds were the greatest.”

Richard M. Nixon – 37th President of the United States – 1969-1974

Gerald R. Ford

Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy Reserve

Service in the Pacific, 1943-1944

“Before the war, I was a typical Midwest isolationist. I returned understanding we could never be isolated again.”

Gerald R. Ford – 38th President of the United States – 1974-1977

James E. Carter, Jr.

Midshipman, United States Navy

United States Naval Academy, 1943-1946

“No one ever thought the Japanese would surrender, so there seemed to be no alternative to a massive invasion.”

James E. Carter, Jr. - 39th President of the United States – 1977-1981

Ronald Reagan

Captain, United States Army Reserve

Army Air Force Intelligence, 1942-1945

“Most of the men who never experienced combat had an almost reverent feeling for the men who did face the enemy.”

Ronald Reagan – 40th President of the United States – 1981-1989

George H. W. Bush

Lieutenant (j.g.), United States Navy Reserve

Service in the Pacific, 1943-1946

“I have often wondered why me, why was I spared when the others died. I’ll never know the answer to that question; but I do know that terrifying experience helped me to become a man.”

George H. W. Bush – 41st President of the United States – 1989-1993

For virtual tours of the Plaza of Presidents and other places to see on our site, follow this link: