While I was checking out Amnesty International’s Art For Rights event in Nola this weekend, I decided to stroll on over to the National World War II Museum on the opening day of its new exhibit called Road to Tokyo, I’m not a history buff and I hate the idea of ware, but since I was in the city and had time, I figured I might as well. I only had 2 hours to devote to the museum because I was being cheap and didn’t want to pay $12 to park in a lot, so I parked on the street for 2 hours for $3. The museum itself was $24, which is a decent price point for a museum with such rich history.
The Road to Tokyo exhibit was interesting. It was cool to learn about the US strategies for the war, and how they went from island to island until they reached Japan. At the same time, it hurt to stroll through and hear numbers like 7,000, 10,000, 30,000, and 70,000 being thrown around with regard to deaths. Forget about the financial cost of war. What about the human cost?
The museum tried successfully to evoke emotion at the end of the exhibit with the video showing the preparations for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the actual bombing, and the aftermath. There was the melancholy music playing in the background as the footage rolled, and I may or may not have walked away before I shed a tear.
To lift my spirits, I headed to the museum gift shop. I don’t know what it is about museum gift shops, but I always buy something from one! I purchased a long-sleeved white sweat shirt with the “We Can Do It!” poster printed on it. It cost me $25, and I’m looking forward to the day when Louisiana weather will allow me to wear it comfortably.
On another note, I spent most of my time there looking for recognition of people of color during the war. The coverage on black people was pretty much non-existent in the museum, and I just knew that wasn’t accurate. No coverage at all? Not even of the Tuskegee Airmen? Nothing? Apparently, I managed to miss (what a shocker!) an entire exhibit called Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII. Again, I have no idea where this was even located. Let me reiterate the necessity of those guides that are at the ticket counter. I doubt I’ll ever visit this museum again, so I’ll just accept that I missed a great deal.