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Flag Day: The National World War II Museum and D-Day

I have the great fortune of having had my second book signing of Home Front Girl at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on June 13, 2013, the day before Flag Day.

Susie in front of the National World War II Museum, New Orleans.  Photo by Jim Kilfoyle.

Susie in front of the National World War II Museum, New Orleans. Photo by Jim Kilfoyle.

With John in front of the National World War II Museum, New Orleans.  Photo by Jim Kilfoyle.

With John in front of the National World War II Museum, New Orleans. Photo by Jim Kilfoyle.

With John in front of the National World War II Museum, New Orleans.  Photo by Jim Kilfoyle.

With John in front of the National World War II Museum, New Orleans. Photo by Jim Kilfoyle.

As before, I had wonderful conversations with visitors to the museum.  One lady bought Home Front Girl for her aunt who was about 6 months older than my mother, Joan.  And a dad bought the book for his two charming and brilliant daughters, ages 11 and 16, whom I had the pleasure the chat with!  I had fun, but I wish my wonderful Swedish cousin, Gerd, had been with me as she was the last time I was there–we always have a great time together.

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After the signing, I decided to wander through the museum.  It is so richly textured, I only got to see a small section of it.  I have to return! One of the first images I saw in the D-Day section of the museum you can see below.

Display show proportional number of troops in Japan, U.S. and Germany in the late 1930s: photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Display show proportional numbers of troops in Japan, U.S. and Germany in the late 1930s: photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Then I saw images from the home front, which is perfectly appropriate for the book with my mother’s diaries, Home Front Girl!  Here is a just a tip of the iceberg of what I saw.

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One of the most poignant entries on the page is the death of a 10 year old Portuguese girl.

I liked how the museum integrated all sorts of displays–diaromas, films, oral history segments you push a button to hear, artifacts including letters, diaries, flags, maps –just about anything you can think of!

Barracks display at National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Barracks display at National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Women were crucial to the war effort;  photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Join the U.S. Crop Corps!

Join the U.S. Crop Corps!

I  had never even heard of the U.S. Crop Corps til today!  I had heard of the British Land Girls, but had no idea that we had a similar program called the Woman’s Land Army of America.

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You can read more about service on the home front in America during World War II here.

Ration pack material;  photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Ration pack material; photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Paratrooper's silk scarf with map of escape routes if lost behind enemy lines; photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Paratrooper’s silk scarf with map of escape routes if lost behind enemy lines; photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

The museum included German soldiers’ points of view in the oral history section.

The title says it all;  photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

The title says it all; photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Cemetary in Normandy; photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Cemetery in Normandy; photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Flag that was carried on Landing Craft, Tank, Rocket 439 on D-Day;  photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Flag that was carried on Landing Craft, Tank, Rocket 439 on D-Day; photo from National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Remember those who have defended the flag on this Flag Day!

A Visit to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans

The National World War II Museum is in New Orleans.  It’s a fantastic complex with exhibits, movies, and live shows.  Recently I was lucky enough to do a signing of Home Front Girl there.  It was a wonderful experience!

My family met my Swedish relatives in New Orleans for 4 fun-filled days.   Joan’s father, Werner Wehlen, left Sweden at the age of 16 in 1913. Werner was the eldest of all his siblings.  His youngest brother, Nils-Erik, was born after Werner left.  They never met.

Nils-Erik had several children we have met a number of times.  Lars is the “baby” brother!  Lars is Joan’s first cousin and Gerd is Lars’s wife.

National World War II Museum in New Orleans

This building has the exhibits, book shop, and gift shop.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This addition is under construction. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I took this photo from the top of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the fabulous museum Gerd and I visited that is connected to the University of New Orleans.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Susie at the National World War II Museum
Susie at the National World War II Museum, in a photo taken by Gerd.

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After these photos were taken, I went to sign books for a couple of hours. It was so fun!  Everyone who is at the museum came because of their interest in World War II.  All photos taken in the museum were taken by Gerd, the wife of Joan’s cousin.  Thanks, Gerd!

In the National World War II Museum Gift Shop, preparing for the signing

In the National World War II Museum Book Shop, preparing for the signing

Preparing for the day.

Preparing for the day.

 

At the signing

Hard at work signing.

Hard at work signing.

Gerd sat with me for over two hours.  We chatted with museum goers about the book.  It was a lot of fun!

One sweet customer, Be'la

One sweet customer, Be’la

With a young customer and reader

With a young customer and reader

After the signing, Gerd, John and I saw a movie at the museum, narrated by Tom Hanks, called Beyond All Boundaries.  You can play the trailer here.  The movie is in 4-D!!!  Gerd, who is Swedish, thought it “very American.”  John said it was “Awesome!”  I think they are both right!  Do go!

With Jim, Sarah and John by a lovely corn stalk iron fence outside a hotel in the French Quarter

With Jim, Sarah and John by a lovely corn stalk iron fence outside a hotel in the French Quarter

With Gerd at Cafe du Monde

With Gerd at Cafe du Monde

John enjoying beignets at Cafe du Monde

John enjoying beignets at Cafe du Monde

 

 

 

 

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