Victory Belles to sing; history scholars to speak in moving public ceremonies
NEW ORLEANS – The National WWII Museum will observe Memorial Day 2013 on Monday, May 27, in ways large and small, colorful and solemn.
The public, Museum staff and representatives from all branches of military service will gather at 10 a.m. in the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion on Andrew Higgins Drive for day-long observances that include performances by the Marine Corps Band and the Museum’s Victory Belles, a eulogy for a WWII soldier read by a student scholar from New Orleans and a moment of silence in tribute to those killed in action.
This Memorial Day, The National WWII Museum will present a special collection of images and stories from several of the 400,000 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II. This exhibit will be on display from May 20 through June 16.
Also featured will be Louisiana high school student Kalie Indest, whose essay on WWII history awarded her a trip to Normandy as one of 15 students selected for Sacrifice for Freedom: The Albert H. Small Student Teacher Institute in June 2012. While in France, Indest read a eulogy she wrote in honor of WWII soldier John P. Ray at his gravesite. She will once again read this moving eulogy during the Museum’s Memorial Day Ceremony.
“Memorial Day is so important to the nation and to us,” said Museum President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller. “It’s The National WWII Museum’s opportunity to honor those who have fallen in service to our country – in all armed conflicts – and to show our respect for the military and all it represents: duty, bravery, sacrifice and patriotism.”
Those heroic qualities were found aboard the USS Tang, where all but nine crew members perished when the sub was sunk in the Formosa Straits while engaging in combat with a Japanese convoy in 1944. The Museum recently opened Final Mission: The USS Tang Submarine Experience to pay tribute to the crew and share their story.
The Museum will begin its Memorial Day observation on Friday, May 24, when Museum volunteers will participate in a flag planting at Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery where many WWII veterans are buried. This year marks the staff’s third visit to the cemetery to plant flags.
Events at the Museum on Memorial Day include performances by the Marine Corps Band at 10 a.m., a 10:30 a.m. ceremony and a panel discussion featuring children of WWII prisoners of war, beginning at 1:00 p.m. At 2:30 p.m. the Victory Belles will sing, followed by the traditional observance of a moment of silence at 3 p.m. CDT. The programming is free and open to the public.
For those unable to attend the ceremony in person, www.mymemorialday.org, a website created by the Museum, tells the stories of service men and women who died in defense of our nation’s freedom. The site features images and artifacts from the Museum’s collection and offers readers a number of suggestions for honoring those killed in action during the nation’s wars, including biographical information on the crew of the USS Tang.
The Museum thanks its corporate partners, CenturyLink, Capital One Bank, Boeing, Chevron, Veolia Transportation, Peoples Health and AT&T, who support Memorial Day activities and year-round efforts to promote the American ideals of service and sacrifice.
About the National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org.