“My grandfather, Robert A. Murphy, Jr, was a Navy man and served as a navigator on the USS Arctic that was in the Pacific realm of World War II. The most amazing thing that has come out of our connection is that the appreciation has continued down another generation to my two children, Henry and Jack, even at the young ages of 8 and 5. Henry (8), is quite the WWII fanatic, currently wishing to major in history because of it, and he has taken it upon himself to make this time of quarantine a personal journey into the history of World War II. It is quite inspiring.”
New Orleans, LA
Bringing The National WWII Museum experience into classrooms and homes across the country has been a key part of our educational initiatives since 2005. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, our educators began using videoconferencing technology to share the lessons of World War II with audiences who couldn’t travel to New Orleans. Since then, we’ve made tremendous progress in expanding our distance-learning programming to reach more than 125,000 students, teachers, and lifelong learners each year, and this fall we opened the Hall of Democracy with new technology and studio spaces to take our educational outreach and media production to the next level.
Because of your support over the years, The National WWII Museum was prepared and well-equipped to proactively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately begin meeting the needs of our audiences online, especially students and educators as they adjusted to learning from home. Since our campus closure in mid-March, our team of educators, historians, curators, and subject-matter experts has dramatically expanded our digital outreach, sharing curriculum guides, teaching resources, live discussions, oral histories, and tons of other content with hundreds of thousands of individuals every single day. Our online content has already generated more than 380,000 views in the first few months alone and will continue to be an important aspect of our work, even once it is safe to reopen our New Orleans campus.
A core component of both our onsite Museum experience and online digital experience is the personal stories of the WWII generation. Because of your support, our staff has the ability to tell the stories of service members such as Major Glenn Miller and Tuskegee Airman Roscoe Brown, who both served in the US Army Air Forces, as well as Medal of Honor recipients George Sakato of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and John “Bud” Hawk of the 90th Infantry Division.
I know you understand how critical it is that we preserve and share these histories. They are records of who we were, and are, as a country. The Museum’s efforts to preserve the stories of the men and women who served in the Armed Forces and on the Home Front is a vital link to America’s history and legacies—which continue to play an important role in our everyday lives. In fact, this Saturday, May 16th, we will honor the next generation of service members—those who followed in the footsteps of our WWII heroes—as we commemorate Armed Forces Day, providing a way for all citizens to come together and thank our active-duty military for their service to our country.
As we continue to expand our online engagement, while also preparing for the day when it will be safe for us to reopen our Museum campus, we kindly ask for your support in helping us ensure that these personal stories of WWII history are preserved and shared. With your commitment, Americans can continue to understand the sacrifices made for our freedom and be inspired by what they learn.
Thank you for your continued interest in our work and your belief in our mission. As we prepare to celebrate our Museum’s 20th Anniversary on June 6th, we look forward to counting you among the many men and women who have helped us successfully become not only one of the country’s top cultural attractions but also a well-respected educational institution dedicated to sharing the stories of the WWII generation with audiences far and wide.
Stephen J. Watson
President & CEO