43rd anniversary of original D-Day invasion at Normandy also marks annual meeting of Museum’s National Board of Directors
NEW ORLEANS (June 5, 2007) – On June 6, the anniversary of the original D-Day invasion at Normandy, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans will celebrate its seventh birthday with a full-day of events and special exhibitions open to the public. At the same time, the Museum’s National Board of Trustees will hold its annual meeting in the city, with some of the discussion to focus on the $300 million capital expansion that is underway on the two city blocks directly adjacent the Museum’s existing location.
“This country showed the world what its soldiers and citizens were capable of during World War II,” said Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Museum. “The anniversary of D-Day affords us an opportunity to salute the valiant efforts of the Greatest Generation and to reaffirm our commitment to New Orleans and its rebuilding as we expand our own facilities and exhibitions to be as epic as the war we honor.”
Governor Pete Wilson of California, Chairman of the Museum’s Board, added that the expansion, when complete, will greatly enhance an already dynamic visitor destination.
“There are so many WWII stories still to be told, and values to be learned,” Wilson said. “This extraordinary Museum will continue to teach us all that freedom isn’t free. It is hard-won by courageous men and women – many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Site preparation is now underway on a one-of-a-kind, advanced-format theater, scheduled to open in early 2009. The theater will have regular showings of Beyond All Boundaries, a cinematic experience designed exclusively for the Museum by Director Paul Hettema and Executive Producer Tom Hanks. Through an array of multi-sensory special effects, viewers will be immersed in a virtual journey that spans the entirety of World War II.
The entire 245,000-square-foot expansion project will triple the Museum’s size, with state-of-the-art programs and exhibit space, library and archives, collections and conservation space, a hotel and conference facility, and a research center. Plans include four prominent exhibit pavilions: The U.S. Pavilion, The Campaign Pavilion, The Liberation and Victory Pavilion, and The Armory and Aviation Pavilion. They will portray all campaigns of the war on land, sea, and air, and each branch of the U.S. military services will be represented. A USO-style entertainment venue, a themed restaurant, and a public parade ground will also be included.
Individual buildings will open to the public as they are finished, and the entire project is estimated to be completed in 2014. In total, the new facilities are expected to attract over 700,000 visitors annually.
The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is designated by Congress as “America’s National World War II Museum.” It interprets the American Experience during World War II years and celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who won World War II and promotes the exploration and expression of these values by future generations.
For more information on programs and exhibits at the National World War II Museum, visit www.nationalww2museum.org, or call 504-527-6012. To arrange group visits for schools, churches and synagogues, reunion groups, and other organizations, please call 504.527.6012, ext. 222.