Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fredericksburg - Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War

Up about 8:30 after a great nights sleep.  There are lots of doves here at this park and they sing and sing late and early but did not seem to bother our sleep!

After a pleasant slow morning of coffee, breakfast and checking emails we headed off about 10AM .  We wanted to be on time for the 11:00 Reinactment of the Battle of Tarawa. I was regretting forgetting ear plugs but they gave everyone a pair.

There were probably 100 people there for the show.  It is held in an outdoor theater with bleachers located about 2 blocks from the museum. Of interest was that we had 2 WWII vets in the audience - one had been a pilot and the other had served in the navy but not sure his position.

Also sitting right behind us was a young man - Toby - who was 11 years old.  He was very outgoing and wanted to talk about all the movies and videos he had watched about WWII.  His grandparents said he was very excited about being there today - which was very obvious.  When the program began they asked for a volunteer and of course it was Toby.  He got to go up on the stage and model all the parts of a Marines gear.  He was perfect in the role and as a token of thanks they gave him a set of dogtags which he could get personalized in the gift shop.  He was thrilled!

The cast of Marines and a few Japanese were mostly young men who trained for the role.  Some were retired military but most were young men from the area.  They demonstrated each type of weapon as well as a tank and a half track.  All the munitions fired were blanks but they sure did make a  lot of noise,   They also demonstrated the methods used to take out a pillbox. The flame thrower was using real gas.

The end of the program was about a 10 minute battle to take one of the hills with a pillbox on the island of Tarawa.  It was quite an undertaking with about 20 "soldiers" taking part.

The grand finale was the burning of the pillbox and I have a short video of that part.  I will not include my longer video of most of the battle. In fact this may not load - not enough internet for it!.

After the reinactment we headed back up to Main Street and found a quick lunch before heading to the George W. Bush Gallery of the Nimitz Museum.  It was over 3,000 square feet of exhibits.  We made it through about half of it and were getting tired.  The bleachers were not great for either of our backs so since the ticket is good for 48 hours we will return tomorrow for the other half.  We saw the older part of the museum when we were here several years ago.

Jane with Nimitz Statue

Ben outside the Museum - this is the top part of a submarine

Back to the RV park and some relaxing and a second round of the great BBQ from Coopers.  Just as good tonight!

Time to watch Masterpiece Theater - Mr. Selfridge is not quite as good as Downton Abbey but  pretty good.  Tomorrow we finish the museum and take a wildflower drive.

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