The Goal: One Million Expressions of Gratitude
NEW ORLEANS (October 22, 2012) — Aimed at garnering a million thanks for US military veterans, from those who served during WWII to current day, The National WWII Museum announces “Thank You for My Freedom,” a social media campaign centered around the website MyVeteransDay.org where users can post videos, photos and messages expressing appreciation to all who have served in the armed forces.
The effort deploys dedicated YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and smart phone messages to ask Americans to express their gratitude to veterans for defending and protecting our freedom. The campaign builds on a heartfelt video last year that prompted the posting of more than 100,000 thank you messages from across the country and around the world. This year’s effort is a lead up to the Museum’s Veterans Day celebrations on Sunday, November 11, that will include a Moment of Silence at 11 a.m. and, on Saturday, November 10, a moving Celebration of Heroes ceremony at 3 p.m.
“We were thrilled to see the response last year through our social media outlets,” said Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and chief executive officer of The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. “This year, we are building on that success and hope to reach a million ‘thank yous’ to demonstrate our gratitude to the American military, not only for those from the WWII generation, but returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan, and all others who served their nation so bravely.”
Participants can also text THANKS to 51555, or “write,” “snap” and “shoot” thanks to the Museum’s social media outlets — including Twitter and Facebook. To upload photographs and videos and see what others have done visit MyVeteransDay.org.
“We think of this as a digital tickertape parade to show vets how much America cares for them,” says Museum Interactive Media Director Jonah Langenbeck. “It’s so moving to see the expressions of gratitude come pouring in from all over the US and even from countries like the Netherlands, France and Italy – where younger people thanked older Americans for liberating their countries from the Nazis. It gives you a sense of the support from a grassroots perspective.”
This effort represents one Museum strategy for reaching out to younger generations, utilizing the tools by which they communicate. The Museum, now the number one attraction in New Orleans according to www.tripadvisor.com, will be opening its newest building, the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, in January 2013.
The Museum staff works with a sense of urgency as WWII veterans dying at a rate of 680 per day.
“It is our mission to ensure that the values and lessons of the WWII generation are passed on to succeeding ones,” Mueller says.
In America, Veterans Day became the successor to Armistice Day, a holiday declared by many allied nations following WWI to honor military service members who died in the war. Veterans Day was signed into law on June 1, 1954. Traditionally, Veterans Day is observed with a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and community events across the nation. Veterans Day officially honors living veterans of wartime and peacetime service, but is often confused with Memorial Day, which exists to honor those who died serving our country.
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 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 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.