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Pacific war museum offers activities for Memorial Day

Fredericksburg, Texas – In honor of Memorial Day, the National Museum of the Pacific War will offer families a week of activities in remembrance of those who have risked or given their lives for our country and in gratitude to those to are risking their lives in combat today.

Operation Patriotism

Recognizing that the thoughts of many Americans this Memorial Day will be with our troops overseas, the National Museum of the Pacific War is spearheading “Operation Patriotism,” a drive to collect items to send to troops. Items should include writing materials, crossword puzzles, hard candy and nuts, playing cards, magazines (sports, health, women’s), feminine toiletries and hygiene items. The troops also have requested items to give to Afghan children including, pens, pencils, paper tablets, crayons, chalk, markers, soccer balls with air pumps and patches, kites, shoes (new and gently used) and socks.

The public is also encouraged to include personal letters of support for troops. Those wanting to make monetary donations can do so and those funds will go toward additional items and shipping costs.
The public is encouraged to drop off items from May 20-27 at the following locations:

Austin – American Legion Post, 4401 E. St. Elmo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Great Hills Baptist Church, 10500 Jollyville Road from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hill Country – National Museum of the Pacific War, 340 E. Main St. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

San Antonio – Crossroads Mall Service Center from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. American Legion Post T-Patch 568 at 2300 N. St. Mary’s from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. VFW Post, 10th Street, 3 p.m. to midnight; and Alzafar Shrine Temple at 901 W. North Loop 1604 from 9 a .m. to 5 p.m.

Donations can also be mailed to the Admiral Nimitz Museum, P.O. Box 777, Fredericksburg, TX 78624. Checks should be made payable to the Admiral Nimitz Foundation.

The public is invited to the museum July 4-7 to help pack the items. Everyone donating items or participating in the packing will receive a discount to museum admission.

Island Assault: 1944

Through television news reports, Americans get a close look at how war is being waged. For a look at how Americans fought more than 50 years ago, the museum will present “Island Assault: 1944,” on May 25-26, a living history program. The program uses objects from the museum’s education collection to bring World War II to life for visitors as re-enactors demonstrate the weapons and discuss the tactics and strategies that won the war.

Visitors can follow authentically dressed and equipped Marines on a tour of a re-created Pacific War battlefield and experience a combined arms attack on a Japanese pillbox. In the attack, volunteers use the only operational World War II flamethrower in Texas. Flamethrowers were a key weapon in infantry tactics during that war. Other famous vehicles and weapons of World War II that are featured include a Stuart tank, half-track, M-1903 Springfield rifle, M-1 Garand rifle, M-1918A2 Browning automatic rifle, M-1919A4 .30-caliber machine gun, Japanese Nambu machine gun, and Japanese-type .38-caliber rifle (also known as the Arisaka).

Demonstrations will be presented at the Pacific Combat Zone at 10:30 a.m., 12:30, 2:30 and 4 p.m. both days. The Pacific Combat Zone is located two blocks northeast of the museum complex on East Austin Street between Elk and Lee.

“Island Assault: 1944” is free with regular museum admission which is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and free for children ages 5 and younger. Fees without museum admission are $2 for adults and $1 for students.

Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

World War II veterans and their families will gather at the National Museum of the Pacific War on May 27 to honor Americans who have given their lives to keep our nation free and strong. Members of the museum’s Memorial Wall Wreath Endowment Fund will place memorial wreaths of red, white and blue flowers along the wall honoring men and women who died in the war. Guest speaker is retired four-star Gen. Billy J. Boles, a director of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and executive vice president of Karta Technologies, Inc. He will speak about keeping heroes’ stories alive.

Ceremony organizers are the USS Colorado and the museum. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. in the Nimitz Memorial Courtyard.

For additional information on any of the Memorial Day-related activities, visit www.nimitz-museum.org or www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/nimitz/nimitz.htm, or call 830-997-4379.