Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fredericksburg Celebrates the 4th of July!

The days are long and the peaches are sweet and juicy. It's summer in Fredericksburg and next Sunday is one of the town's favorite holidays. July 4th! There is guaranteed to be all sorts of fun throughout the weekend.

On the 3rd and 4th, the National Museum of the Pacific War will present its Living History Program. With the help of objects from the museum's education collection, re-enactors will show the audience the weapons and tactics that won WWII. Showtimes on the 3rd are 10:30, 1:00 and 3:30. Sunday the 4th, shows will be at 10:30, 3:30 and 6:00. Tickets are available for purchase at the event. The Annual 4th of July Parade will be at 1:00 this year on Main Street. There are always patriotic floats from all parts of the community, along with a few fun surprises. This year's Grand Marshals will all be Vietnam veterans. After the parade, there will be a program at Marktplatz and don't forget fireworks that evening. At 7:00, at Ladybird Johnson Park, there will be a concert and fireworks start at 9:30. This is only what the city and museum are sponsoring, there is sure to be more in and around town.

Put on your red, white and blue and come to Fredericksburg to celebrate the United States' 234th birthday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Temporary Photo Exhibit Opening Friday

Roger Moore, Photographer’s Mate Second Class in the U. S. Navy during WWII was stationed in the interior of China in 1944. As a member of the Navy unit SACO (Sino American Cooperative Organization), he was working to set up weather stations throughout the interior of China to make weather predictions for the US Pacific Fleet and her allies. At the conclusion of the war, in 1945, Moore and other remaining US troops were taken to the coastal cities of China to take over after the Japanese were removed. Moore was assigned to Shanghai where he was surprised by what he saw. Because of the 10 year occupation by the Japanese, he was expecting a discouraged and oppressed people but was quite amazed when he found an overall positive attitude in the city. Through his collection of photos, which will be on display in the West Exhibit Gallery of the National Museum of the Pacific War, visitors will see the same determination and hope in these people that Roger Moore connected with 65 years ago.

The Japanese occupation of China is without a doubt a very dark aspect of WWII history. However, these photos show the strength and will to survive of the Chinese people. It is truly a moving set of work.

There will be a ribbon-cutting at 1:30 on Friday, June 25. All are welcome at the event at no charge; regular admission is still required to visit the entire museum. The photos will be on exhibit through December of this year.

For a copy of the press release on the exhibit, go to http://www.nimitz-museum.org/pdf/Photo_Exhibit.pdf

For more on Roger Moore, visit http://www.rogermoorephotographer.com/index.htm

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Living History

A Pacific Island assault in the middle of Fredericksburg, Texas? Yes!

An all volunteer group of men and women, under the direction of Marvin Schroeder, get together during select weekends and put on an educational and entertaining show. The show begins with information about and the firing of the weapons used by both the US and Japanese military. After the audience has been well informed about how both sides are armed, the tanks roll in for an island invasion on our beachhead at the Pacific Combat Zone. Rather than try to explain the excitement that ensues during the program, there are some teaser pictures and a calendar of remaining 2010 shows posted below.

Shows are held at the Pacific Combat Zone, 2 ½ blocks from the National Museum of the Pacific War. Tickets are sold at the gate and are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

June 19&20 • July 3&4 • September 4&5 • October 2&3 • November 13&14

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Turning Point: Midway

The National Museum of the Pacific War has a great exhibit on the Battle of Midway, a decisive American victory over the Japanese that turned the tide of the war in the Pacific. On display, there are artifacts from Lieutenant Commander Thomas H. Dyer’s desk, one of the men responsible for breaking the Japanese code, JN-25. There is also video footage of the battle accompanied by commentaries from Jonathan Parshall, co-author of Shattered Sword: the Untold Story of the Battle of Midway and Rear Admiral Donald “Mac” Showers, an intelligence officer on Fleet Admiral Nimitz’ staff.

The battle lasted from June 4 to June 7, 1942. Through the successful code breaking efforts of Commander Joseph J. Rochefort and his staff, Japanese plans of seizing Midway Island were crumbled. The text panel in the exhibit reads, “Lieutenant Commander Joseph J. Rochefort’s code breaking team at Pearl Harbor had to be certain of the target of the Central Pacific Operation, identified as “AF.”

A simple rule was devised. Midway was instructed to send an uncoded message that fresh water was running low. When the Japanese Navy passed the information on, in its JN-25 code, Rochefort and Layton were certain that “AF” meant Midway.”

To find out more about this significant moment of strategic surprise, spend some time in the Midway gallery listening to the accounts of some of the men involved as well as one of the top historians on the topic.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flag Day

Come out to the Plaza of Presidents at the National Museum of the Pacific War at 11:30 Monday morning to celebrate Flag Day! Flag Day is an opportunity to honor those who serve as well as those who have served, the United States and the American flag – a symbol of our great nation.

The Fredericksburg High School NJROTC will place around 10,000 small flags in the courtyard and around the site to help all of our visitors remember. These flags have all been donated as a ‘thank you’ either to a serviceman or woman or to this country. At 11:30 we will have a program discussing flag etiquette and history of the flag. Immediately following and in compliance with respecting the flag, we will have a disposal ceremony. The American Legion’s Let’s be Right on Flag Etiquette states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Tattered and worn flags that have been donated throughout the year will be disposed of by Boy Scout Troop 137 of Fredericksburg. After all flags have been burned, the ashes will be buried in a flowerbed on site.

We invite you to join us for this event. There is no charge to attend.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Golf Tournament a Success

The 1st Annual Nimitz Golf Classic was a huge success! We had a full field of 136 golfers, great weather, three excellent food stations and a fun surprise on the twelfth hole of the beautiful Boot Ranch Golf Course. Each player was given the chance to shoot clay pigeons, for each hit one stroke was taken off of the team's final score. That's a chance to have eight points deducted from a team's score!

A flyover of three WWII training planes and one WWII Torpedo bomber kicked off the morning, followed by tank-gun start. WWII jeeps carried golfers from their cars to registration and team photos were taken in front of the tank. The evening ended with dinner, a live auction and a dance with music by the Sheila Marshall Band.

Congratulations to the winning teams -The Black Sheep Squadron, Tarawa and USS Enterprise! All winning teams had Wounded Warriors on them!

More photos from the event will be posted on Facebook soon!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Remembering America's Heroes

The Memorial Day Celebration held at the National Museum of the Pacific War made the front page of both the Fredericksburg and Kerrville newspapers.

An audience of around 800 men, women and children enjoyed welcoming remarks by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and a Keynote Speech by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a retired Marine who served in Vietnam. Program Director, Helen McDonald, recognized the veterans in attendance, specially recognizing the oldest veteran, Raymond Christensen from Watertown, SD, who was born in 1917! The program concluded with a rifle salute and Echo Taps. Wreaths were laid in honor of multiple ships and individuals. The sense of pride for this great country and those men and women who have served for the freedoms that Americans enjoy was absolutely astounding.

The photo on the front page of the Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post is especially meaningful to those members of our community. Senator Hutchison, Land Commissioner Patterson and Mrs. Lorna Eckhardt laid a wreath for all of those lives that have been lost in the current War on Terrorism. Mrs. Eckhardt is the mother of Staff Sergeant Christopher Staats, a Fredericksburg local who was killed in Afghanistan in October of 2009.

The Kerrville Daily Times front page photo is of veterans standing to be recognized. They are asked to stand by military branch during the playing of the different military songs. Then, later in the program they are asked to stand based on the year they were born, the last person standing is recognized as our oldest audience member.

We are proud to have had such a good turnout. Put us on your calendar for the place to celebrate Memorial Day next year!

Both photos are credited to their respective newspapers.