National WW2 Museum in New Orleans

Sunday, January 10, 2010

We had been wanting to visit the new National WWII Museum in the Warehouse District for a while, but it seemed there was always something else to do besides spend the day stuck inside. Well as the temps took a dive this weekend, we decided to head over. Wow. The museum is stunning. As you enter the front doors, you're first greeted by war tanks & trucks in the foyer and a huge vintage war plane suspended from the ceiling. One could easily spend all afternoon in the museum, which is precisely what we did.

We started with lunch at the newest John Besh restaurant- The American Sector. The restaurant is located in one of the buildings that make up the WWII Museum complex. A throw-back to the 40's, the restaurant is diner style with a sleek & modern twist. Sophisticated diner food is the best way I know how to describe the menu. Try the 'Shrimp In A Cup'- large tempura battered shrimp tossed in a spicy aioli sauce. Fine lunch, complete with coffee & dessert, for under $50. Next we headed into the Solomon Victory Theater for the 45-minute documentary, 'Beyond All Boundaries.' Tom Hanks produced & narrated this powerful and emotional account of the WWII era, complete with 4D effects. Definitely catch this film before doing a tour of the museum, as it gives you a refresher from those long-forgotten days of 5th Grade History Class. The film plays every hour on the hour, and reservations are required. After the film we walked across the street to the permanent exhibit. I overheard someone saying it takes about 2 hours to complete the tour- I beg to differ. Give yourself several hours, if not the whole afternoon. The museum contains multiple floors with wall-to-wall artifacts, literature, moving testimonials, pictures and videos, and interactive exhibits.

I dare anyone to visit the museum- to soak in all that is there and play witness to the war veterans, proudly wearing their indicative caps and vests, silently perched in front of a single picture reminiscing on sights and smells I'll never begin to comprehend- and not walk away with a renewed love for this great country and for those who sacrificed so much so that we may have the freedoms we have today.

-lila

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