FromSpitfires and Sherman tanks to shelters and sonnets, The National World War IIMuseum in New Orleans tells both the stories of those who fought and those whowere left behind.
At the outbreak ofWorld War II in 1939, the United States army was smaller than those of Germany,Japan and Italy. Yet by the time the U.S. entered the war in 1941 the countryhad managed to assemble a vast military machine, which to this day remains one ofthe world’s largest.
This is just one ofthe stories told in the National World War II Museum, which opened in thecenter of New Orleans, on Magazine Street, in June 2000. New Orleans was chosenfrom a selection of candidates because it’s where the Higgins Industries'amphibious boats, which were vital to the D-Day success, were designed andbuilt. Today, the museum is regarded as one of the most important warrepositories in America.
Enter the vast lobby,where dozens of aircraft are suspended from the rafters, and you'll get a feelfor the size of the rare collection contained here. Permanent exhibits includean array of military vehicles, photographic galleries on the D-Day Landings, asection on the Home Front effort and fitting memorials to fallen soldiers. Vieworiginal film footage and listen to recordings from the men who fought on thebeaches and in the trenches.
A recent addition tothe museum is the Soda Shop, which features 1940s-style décor and a range ofinteresting soda flavors served in traditional quart-sized bottles.
Allowat least three to four hours to see the NationalWorld War II Museum. It’s open every day, except Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving,Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s also accessible by public bus.