New exhibition launched at the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans

A new exhibition is opened at the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans.

The exhibition’s main attraction is a new feature film called, ‘Beyond All Boundaries’.

The exhibition is being put on by the museum to ensure the reality of the war is remembered and passed on to younger generations before all World War Two veterans pass away.

The film has been produced and narrated by Tom Hanks and is displayed in 4-D. This means that no glasses are required to watch the film, and the images reach out into the audience, as well as actual movements and effects felt in the movie theater itself, from wind to smoke and shaking seats.

The film tells the devastating fact that more than 65 million people lost their lives worldwide. It moves through Hitler’s march across Europe to the African and Pacific theaters of war.

One scene depicts the Battle of Saipan, in the western Pacific, showing a woman committing suicide by jumping off a cliff, a soldier sharing water with a child and another looking at a ruined Japanese flag surrounded by devastated buildings.

The film differentiates itself from other war movies by showing the stories of individual people’s experiences during the war.

The man behind the museum’s exhibition is Professor Stephen Ambrose from the University of New Orleans. He has written the biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, as well as the best-selling Band of Brothers. Professor Ambrose also founded the Eisenhower Center at the university so that the war and its consequences would continue to be studied.

Today the center researches and studies the impact of wars around the world. One project at the centre has collected hundreds of oral histories from war veterans and thousands of war items and memorabilia.

Ambrose’s National World War Two Museum was opened in 2000, backed by Hollywood’s Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, along with the state and federal governments.

The museum is continually expanding and now has three separate buildings. Visitors spend around half a day to take in the entire exhibition and other displays.

A special feature is the ‘Final Mission: The USS Tang Submarine Experience’, which is an interactive experience inside a World War Two submarine, the News Sentinel reports.

Meanwhile, another feature is the ‘Dog Tag Experience’, where a dog tag is allocated to each visitor and you are given access to that person’s real war experience at each stage of the exhibition.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE