NEW ORLEANS (May 21, 2014) — Veterans, their families and the general public will come together this weekend for a series of events at The National WWII Museum held in honor of Memorial Day.
On Friday, May 23, Museum staff and volunteers will take part in the annual flag planting at the Chalmette National Cemetery. On Saturday, May 24, outside the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, the Marine Corps Band New Orleans will play from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, the Museum will be observing the holiday with a series of daylong events that include a Marine Corps Quintet musical performance at 10:30 am, followed at 11:00 am by a Memorial Day Ceremony and at 3:00 pm CDT, the traditional moment of silence and bell-ringing. The events will occur in the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center and are free and open to the public.
"This is a very important Memorial Day to remember," said Museum President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller. "Seventy years ago, hundreds of our men paid the ultimate sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy a little more than a week after the 1944 holiday. We honor them, the crew of the USS Tang and all those in all America’s wars who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation and our freedom."
Through June 11, the Museum is also staging a special display of artifacts associated with the crew of the USS Tang, the most successful submarine in US history. The Tang was sunk on its final mission by its own defective torpedo. Of the crew of 87 men, 78 were died that day in service to their country.
The special display is a remarkable tribute. Since the opening of The National WWII Museum’s Final Mission: The USS Tang Submarine Experience in 2013, the families of James Milton White, John Andrew Key and Daniel Clyde Felicetty — all lost aboard the submarine — have contacted the Museum to donate artifacts from their service.
During the 11:00 am Memorial Day ceremony, Museum officials will personally acknowledge and thank the families of the crew members who donated their personal items.
"In many cases, these family members have never met the relative they are honoring or only have the vaguest of memories of their life," said curator Eric Rivet. "But they are just as dedicated to their memories as if they only left the family yesterday. It’s inspiring to see how dedicated they are to keeping their sacrifices alive."
For those unable to attend the Memorial Day observations in person, the Museum urges people to visit mymemorialday.org, a Museum website that shares stories of WWII service men and women who died in defense of our nation’s freedom, images from the Museum’s collection and suggestions on how to honor those killed in action during the nation’s wars. The site also features the Silent Heroes Project, a nationwide initiative where students honor fallen WWII heroes from their home states.
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.