NEW ORLEANS (June 14, 2012) — The National WWII Museum today announced the winners of its “Salute to Freedom” contest, in which 51 students win an all-expense-paid trip to New Orleans to participate in the Grand Opening of the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, planned for the weekend of January 11-13, 2013. One student is chosen from each of the 50 states and from Washington, DC. The names of students are being withheld pending parental approval and will be announced soon.
The contest, made possible by the Museum’s unique partnership with The Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, called on qualifying students to submit an application and respond to two essay questions. Winners were chosen based on their knowledge of the past and its connection to the future as well as their knowledge of their state’s role during the war. Winners were named during the National History Day awards ceremony, held today in College Park, Maryland.
In advance of his or her journey to The National WWII Museum, each of the winners will select and write captions for five images that represent their state’s contribution during WWII. These images, along with a short essay linking the images and emphasizing the state’s role in the war effort, will become part of a special exhibition at the Grand Opening celebration.
“These student historians are our future and it is vitally important that they know of the sacrifices made by the ‘greatest generation’ in the name of freedom,” said Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and CEO of The National WWII Museum. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to host these 51 students and their chaperones for the Grand Opening of the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.”
Winners and their chaperones will arrive in New Orleans prior to the festivities in January, spend two nights in downtown New Orleans and participate in the Grand Opening celebration. Travel costs, the hotel stay and meals for each student and a chaperone will be covered by The National WWII Museum. The students and their chaperones will be among the first visitors to enter the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.
The Museum’s new pavilion will pay tribute to all branches of the US Armed Forces that were active in the war. The pavilion will contain a spectacular collection of macro artifacts including a restored B-17G Flying Fortress and an interactive submarine experience based on the final mission of the USS Tang. A special section will feature a wall displaying images of all 464 WWII Medal of Honor recipients and interactive kiosks which allow visitors to access the military and personal history of each recipient.
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 fought 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.