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From the shores of Lake Pontchartrain to the sands of Normandy

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans commemorates 65th anniversary, important D-Day connection with events in New Orleans and France


NEW ORLEANS (April 3, 2009) – The National World War II Museum (formerly The National D-Day Museum) will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy and their important connection that historic day with events both in New Orleans and abroad.  As part of its educational mission, the Museum is offering an opportunity for the public to travel to Normandy for June 6, 2009 and at the Museum in New Orleans there will be a full weekend of public programs and an opportunity to meet World War II vets from all over the country.

The National World War II Museum owes its location in New Orleans to the hometown innovation that made the D-Day invasion possible. Known by many as Higgins boats, the flat-bottom LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) was just what the Allies needed to get men and supplies ashore on the shallow beaches. Higgins Industries in New Orleans not only designed the boats but they produced nearly 20,000 LCVPs and other vessels for the Allies during the war. Dwight Eisenhower himself told historian and Museum founder Stephen Ambrose that Andrew Jackson Higgins was “the man who won the war”.

The Museum’s Five Star Travel program will take visitors from London to Normandy to Paris, visiting significant World War II sites, some not open to the general public, along the way. The group will be accompanied by historians and World War II veterans. The Museum group will be at Omaha beach on June 6, 2009 and attend the annual ceremony at the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer amid the seemingly endless rows of white crosses, the ultimate reminder of the scope and sacrifice of the invasion. Some spaces still remain for what may be the last significant gathering of veterans at Normandy. For more information on the trip visit www.nationalww2museum.org/travel or call 877-813-3329 x 257.
For those who cannot travel to France to commemorate the anniversary, the Museum will host two days of events in New Orleans, including the opening of the special exhibit June 1944 – One Month in the War that Changed the World, Normandy veterans, family activities and a commemoration ceremony featuring veterans from all across the nation. The Museum hopes to get veteran representatives from each state to attend A Gathering of the Greatest Generation. Veterans interested in attending, can register with the Museum at www.nationalww2museum.org.
The National World War II 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.  The Museum is in the midst of a $300 million multi-phase expansion project that will open its first buildings in the November 2009. The Victory Theater will show Beyond All Boundaries, an exclusive 4-D cinematic experience executive produced by Tom Hanks, and The Stage Door Canteen will be a nod to the days when a weary soldier could find a food, fun and fellowship at these remarkable venues.  For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org.



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