National WWII Museum Reveals New Pearl Harbor Exhibit

Today, December 7, marks the eightieth anniversary of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has created a new exhibit entitled, “Infamy: Pearl Harbor Remembered,” examining how America has immortalized this attack in the eighty years since the 1941 tragedy.

“Infamy: Pearl Harbor Remembered” uses artifacts, images, videos and oral histories to help visitors imagine it on a global scale, including how it shaped American identity and brought cohesion to a populace unsure of their role in the war.

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Stories that are featured in the exhibit include those that have been previously overlooked in the past, including Doris “Dorie” Miller, the first Black American to be awarded the Navy Cross. He was on the USS West Virginia as a mess attendant third class. He was awarded the Navy Cross because of his bravery during the attack, in which he shot down Japanese planes and carried the ship’s dying captain and other sailors to safety.

Another notable individual whose story is featured in the “Infamy” exhibit was the first American chaplain to die during the Second World War, Navy Chaplain Father Aloysius Schmitt. He was on the USS Oklahoma during the Pearl Harbor bombing when the ship was struck by torpedoes and capsized. Father Schmitt and other sailors were trapped in a room with only a small porthole that allowed one individual to leave at a time. He lost his life by putting the other trapped sailors ahead of himself.

Tom Czekanski is the Senior Curator and Restorations Manager at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. He believes that exhibits like these are important to gaining a better understanding of historic events, especially since the generation of individuals who participated in the events have passed away.

“…The attack on Pearl Harbor has become an idea rather than a memory. People today remember there was a sneak attack but have little understanding of the events that led to the attack. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was deeply divided as to what course of action they should take in the war. After the attack, Americans came together in unified action against the Axis powers. I think it is important for Americans to remember that we can overcome our differences to work together,” said Czekanski.

The exhibit will be on display through June 26, 2022. Tickets can be purchased on the museum’s website. Adult admission is $29.50; children 5-18 years old are $18.00, and seniors are $25.50. World War II veterans and children under five years of age are always free.

For more information about the memorial exhibit, please click here.

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