Press Release

National WWII Museum Introduces 'Salute to Freedom' Awards in Conjunction with National History Day Contest

One Student from Each State to be Awarded All-Expense-Paid Trip to New Orleans for US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center Grand Opening

NEW ORLEANS (April 23, 2012) — As part of a unique partnership with The Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, The National WWII Museum today announced it will host a “Salute to Freedom” contest awarding one student from each of the 50 states with an all-expense-paid trip to New Orleans. Winning students will represent their states and help celebrate the grand opening of the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center planned for the weekend of January 11, 2013.

The competition to serve as a state representative is open to all students in grades 6-12 who qualify for the National History Day Contest in College Park, Maryland and winners will be announced at the National History Day Contest on June 14. Qualifying students will receive application materials for the “Salute to Freedom” competition from the agency coordinating their state’s National History Day Contest and will be required to submit an application that includes two essay questions by May 19.

“Our ‘Salute to Freedom’ is a salute to student historians,” said National WWII Museum History Coordinator Nathan Huegen, who was recently appointed to the National History Day Executive Council of State Coordinators. “It’s a terrific way to honor the best young scholars in the country.”

Once winners are selected and announced at the National History Day Contest, students will be tasked with selecting five images that best represent their states’ contributions during WWII. They will then be asked to provide captions for the images and write a short essay tying all the images together and emphasizing the state’s role in the war effort. These essays and photos will become part of a special exhibition at the grand opening celebration.

Winners and their chaperones will arrive in New Orleans for the festivities next 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.

Each “Salute to Freedom” award recipient along with his/her chaperone will be among the first to enter the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, which tells the story of our nation’s unprecedented industrial capability during the war years, while also exploring what it was like to participate in WWII whether by land, sea or air.

“It has always been the mission of The National WWII Museum to teach younger generations about the significant sacrifices made during World War II which helped ensure the many freedoms they enjoy today,” said Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and chief executive officer of The National WWII Museum. “The students selected for the ‘Salute to Freedom’ award will have demonstrated an awareness of the past and its connection to the future as well as their state’s role in WWII, including specific people, initiatives and industries that contributed to the war effort overseas and on the Home Front.”

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 Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.