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Great places to visit for remembering World War II PDF Print E-mail

Iwo memorial

With the 64th anniversary of the end of WWII on September 2, many seniors may want to relive some of their memories of that historic era. Here are some sites worth visiting this autumn:

The mighty Navy aircraft carrier, USS Midway (CVB41), is permanently anchored at San Diego’s seaport. It was named for the critical 1942 battle in the Pacific when American forces defeated elements of the Japanese fleet around the island of Midway, and marked the turning point that led eventually to the US winning WWII. The carrier Midway had a long and distinguished career in combat and operational actions throughout the world before being retired to become a permanent museum in San Diego.

The National World War II Museum is in the warehouse/arts district of New Orleans. The museum is affiliated with the national Smithsonian, and contains many artifacts from WWII, with concentration on landing craft and other historic items from the D-Day invasion of Normandy and other key invasion operations. 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-527-6012, or online at www.ddaymuseum.org

The National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC is an outdoor structure consisting of 56 pillars and arches, with a large plaza and fountain. It’s on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The Iwo Jima Memorial is also a must visit in Washington. 800-639-4992, or online at WWIImemorial.com

The USS Arizona still lies in its watery grave in Pearl Harbor,Oahu, Hawaii. Above it is a sweeping white marble memorial, operated the US National Parak Service, and dedicated to those who died in the attack on December 7, 1941, the opening event of WWII. 808-422-0561, or online at nps.gov/usar.

The Pima Air & Space Museum is located near the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson AZ. The museum itself is a great nostalgic place to visit, but is not huge. The area is worth a visit because it is surrounded by thousands of aircraft of all shapes, sizes and from all nations, from WWII and on into the 2000s. They all sit in the bone-dry desert air as reminders of wars gone by and billions in taxpayer dollars they cost. 6000 E Valencia Rd., Tucson, AZ, 520-574-0462, or online at www.pimaair.org

The US Air Force Museum on the grounds of the  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, displays more than 300 Air Force planes from all eras of aviation history. There are beautifully restored fighter aircraft, B17s, B25s, B29s and many others. 100 Spaatz St., 937-255-3286, or online at www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/index.htm

The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles is a reminder of a moment in US history when sudden and unreasonable racial hatred erupted because of Japan’s sudden attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This museum in the heart of LA's Japantown tells of the forced relocation and imprisonment of thousands of Japanese-American families. Despite this treatment, many young Japanese-American men volunteered for WWII service. A museum monument there is etched with names of Japanese-American veterans of the 100th and 442nd Regimental Combat Teams. Many gave their lives and their actions in Europe made their units the most decorated in US military history. 369 East First St., Los Angeles, CA, 213-625-0414, or online at janm.org

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