Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7th Deep In The Heart Of Texas

Today marks the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that triggered WWII. In recognition, I thought I'd do something a little different.

Just up the road from where I live is the small Central Texas town of Fredericksburg. Among it's other claims to fame is the fact that it is home to The National Museum of the Pacific War.
The National Museum of the Pacific War is dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the Pacific Theater of WWII in order that the sacrifices of those who contributed to our victory may never be forgotten.
Since the war in the Pacific was mainly a Navy war -- with a little help from the Marines -- you might be wondering why the National Museum of the Pacific War is located in the heart of Texas, far from the Pacific Ocean.

The answer is that Chester W. Nimitz, CinC of the Pacific Fleet, was born and raised in Fredericksburg. And here in Texas, we remember our own.
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who at the height of the Pacific war commanded more than two million men and women, 5,000 ships and 20,000 planes, was of humble and landlocked beginnings. Nimitz was born February 24, 1885 to an already widowed mother, and was raised in the small German community of Fredericksburg, Texas.
This next item might be a little hard for you Navy types to swallow, but facts are facts.
Hoping for an appointment to West Point but offered a chance for an education at Annapolis instead, young Chester studied early mornings and late evenings around his schoolwork and chores to prepare for the three-day Annapolis examination. His self-discipline paid off and he was accepted to Annapolis in 1901 at age 15 before he completed high school.
The Army's loss was the Navy's gain.

Every year the museum hosts a ceremony on December 7th honoring our veterans. This year is no exception.
The Admiral Nimitz Foundation will be paying homage to those who served the United States on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.  2012 marks the 71th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.  The ceremony will be held on Friday December 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm in the Memorial Court Yard. The start time of 12:25 pm CST is the exact time that the attack on Pearl Harbor began.

Colonel Richard D. Creed Jr., Commander 479 FA Brigade (TSB) will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony.  The Admiral Nimitz Foundation is proud to welcome Pearl Harbor survivors who will be recognized by General Michael Hagee, USMC (Ret).  The program will include a wreath laying, rifle salute and a flyover by World War II aircraft.

United States military installations were attacked on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii.  The Admiral Nimitz Foundation and National Museum of the Pacific War are proud to honor those who served as well as those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedom of the United States of America.
On a personal note, our son has participated in a few WWII War in the Pacific reenactments sponsored by the museum (he once played Jimmy Doolittle). Not only did he have a great time, he actually learned about historical events, people, and most importantly, character and values.
On scheduled weekends throughout the year, the Pacific Combat Zone comes alive with the sights and sounds of combat on a Pacific island as American Marine re-enactors move in to capture fortified positions from their Japanese defenders. Employing landing craft, tanks, explosive charges and flame thrower, the Pacific Combat Living History programs explain and illustrate the equipment, weapons and tactics American Army and Marine and Imperial Japanese Army forces employed in the deadly struggles on islands like Tarawa, Peleliu, Saipan and Iwo Jima.

I know that most of you reading this aren't geographically close enough to visit the museum, but if you're ever down this way set aside a few hours. It's well worth the visit. And if you have a few extra bucks laying around (I know, I know, bad timing) please consider a donation. Or at least a purchase from the Museum Store. Some of the items are great for relieving stress...

Relieve the stress with a Stressball Grenade.  Made with soft foam, you can squish it over and over until you feel relaxed. Comes printed with the National Museum of the Pacific War logo in white on the side.

Or perhaps you prefer your stress relief come in a more liquid form.

Single shot glass featuring the image of The National Museum of the Pacific War.
In any event, please take a few moments today to give thanks for all those who served, not just in WWII but throughout our history. They deserve our remembrance.

And more. Much, much more...


Old NFO said...

Well said, and I DO have that on my bucket list!

CenTexTim said...

When you do get down here, give me a heads up. Being a good German town, F'burg has several good spots to grab a cold beer or two.