Friday, November 19, 2010

Nimitz Trip

Val and I took the bike to Fredericksburg yesterday to visit the Nimitz Museum complex that our friends Russ and Jodi told us about.  The trip to Fredericksburg, about 90 minutes away, took us through new sections of the foothills, so it was a beautiful although chilly ride.  We started at the Admiral Nimitz Museum which detailed his life and career, then spent some time on the grounds looking at the memorial plaques and the Japanese Peace Garden and finished with 3 hours in the George H. W. Bush Gallery (which easily could have been stretched to double that).
The George Bush Gallery was one of the best museums we've ever seen.  It chronicled what led up to World War II and then detailed the Pacific conflict from start to finish.  We learned how each major battle developed, how our troops and the Japanese forces were deployed and how we eventually won.  I wish history classes in school had been so fascinating.

 The Admiral Nimitz Museum was originally the Nimitz Hotel.  It was quite a contrast to the modern George Bush Gallery building.

One of the walls of plaques dedicated to ships and individuals.

 I found a plaque dedicated to the ship that my father served on during the war.

A solid bronze propeller from a carrier.  It was one of four on the ship.  Can you estimate the weight? 
(Just a bit shy of 25,000 pounds.)
The Japanese Garden of Peace which was a gift from military leaders in Japan.

Inside the Bush Gallery:

A Japanese dive bomber.

An Australian tank that took a direct hit in the front.  The video monitor above the tank showed an interview with the commander of the tank who described how he survived the attack and helped a member of his crew.
An exact replica (sans plutonium of course) of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

Beware.  An editorial comment follows....

As we left the complex and walked the streets of Fredericksburg, Val and I talked about what we had seen and heard and wondered if our country would have the same resolve today that it had during World War II.  We know that circumstances are very different now, but it was interesting to note that less people were killed at the attack on Pearl Harbor than at the Twin Towers.  Civilian casualties during the war were accepted as part of the price that had to be paid, up to and including two nuclear bombs.  Today, our military personnel are forced to worry what will happen if any civilian is killed during a conflict. What a shame that our brave men and women who risk their lives every day for all of us have to worry about such matters due to "political correctness" and fear of a small minority who don't understand the principles this country was founded on and what it takes to protect our country from those who seek to destroy our way of life. 
There.  I said it.
God Bless America.

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