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VICTORY QUARTERLY SNEAK PEEK: FALL 2013:

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Ken Copper and his lovely wife, Linda, are Patriots Circle members and enthusiastic ambassadors for The National WWII Museum. The stories of America’s role in World War II have fascinated them throughout their lives. Ken’s father, Hubert Eugene "Cop" Copper, was a pilot on the escort carrier USS Cabot in Bull Halsey’s fleet. Linda’s dad, Harold Buckingham, served on the home front operating a trucking company in South Dakota. The Coppers’ good friends, Roger O’Neil and Denny Krick, accompanied them on a recent visit to the Museum. All three guys served in the military but it’s Denny, the WWII veteran, who is the centerpiece of Ken’s blog, OUT OF MY MIND. We share it with you here.

The WWII Museum Will Renew Your American Soul
by Ken Copper

It opened in June 2000 as a tribute to the two million men who were members of the Allied D-Day Normandy invasion, the largest military endeavor in history. Now, in 2013, it has evolved to become The National WWII Museum and it is a masterpiece. Located on Magazine Street in New Orleans, the Museum is a beautiful, multifaceted encomium to a generation of men and women who gave their all to save the world from the evil of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan. Without these individuals, most of us wouldn’t be here or, if we were, we might be speaking a different language.

If you haven’t already visited, put this wonderful enterprise on your bucket list and, if you can, see it with a veteran. Veterans are special at this Museum — especially those who served in this world war.

Today, my wife and I wound up a five-day visit to the Big Easy and the Museum; truthfully, I can’t recall ever having an experience equal to it. Joining us were good friends Denny Krick and Roger O’Neil. Roger, like me, is a veteran of the Vietnam era. Unlike me, he actually spent time in Southeast Asia while I protected cows and made certain that Kansas remained free of commies and Vietcong. Denny, eighty-seven on his last birthday, is a WWII vet who served in the South Pacific. All of us are members of the same local California gym and had talked of making the trip to New Orleans for quite some time before finally putting it together. Now we all want to go again. It’s that good.

Historian and author, the late Stephen Ambrose, dreamed of the Museum and brought it to life with Nick Mueller, who carries on the mission with ever-expanding exhibits and new pavilions including the recently dedicated US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. It will take you more than a full day to see it all, including the John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion, where you can view the continuing restoration of PT-305 and eventually other WWII-era boats like the Higgins boat, conceived and built by Andrew Jackson Higgins in New Orleans. The Higgins landing craft was critical to our victory at Normandy and other combat theaters.

World War II cost 65 million lives. Try to grasp the enormity of it if you can. America was one of the more fortunate participants, as we lost slightly more than 400,000 of our best and brightest. Sixteen million men and women served. Then there were those who served on the home front, working tirelessly in factories, hospitals and a multitude of other jobs to support our troops. We all know these people and their service and should thank them in every way we can.

The perfect means to show your appreciation would be to escort a member of America’s Greatest Generation to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. There are only 1.2 million of these wonderful selfless Americans left and we are losing somewhere between 700 and 800 of them a day. Do it before you and they run out of time.

Like hot soup on a cold winter’s day, The National WWII Museum will warm you and renew your American soul.

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