Befitting its historical role, the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg plans to salute the 75th anniversary of the the defeat of the Japanese Empire and the end of World War II on Sept. 2.
The initial announcement of Japanese surrender came on Aug. 15, 1945. Yet it was Sept. 2, 1945 that saw the formal surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Memories of V-J Day will start 11 a.m. Sept. 2 with a broadcast on YouTube followed by a livestream salute from the museum’s Memorial Courtyard on Facebook.
"Most significantly, the broadcast includes a variety of eyewitness perspectives from the war including a World War II veteran with vivid recollections of the end of the war," says museum spokeswoman Mia Olea Garza, "a native Texan who was a young girl during the war and her reflections on how her hometown changed over those four years and a Japanese-American couple — she was interned as a child and he was at Pearl Harbor during the Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941."
As reported in June, this ample museum is dedicated to Allied campaigns against the Japanese Empire during World II. Part of the museum is housed in the old hotel that belonged to the family of Fredericksburg native son Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. He served as commander in chief of the Pacific fleet, then later took charge of the entire Pacific front. A majority of the exhibits, however, can be found in the large, modern George H.W. Bush Gallery, which opened its doors in 1991 and was expanded in 2009.
It’s stunning. No wonder USA Today readers earlier this year ranked it among the Top 5 history museums in the country.
Self-guided tours are now available to groups of up to 12 people. The three-hour tours start at 9 a.m. Wednesdays-Sundays at the new Admiral Nimitz Gallery, located in the old Nimitz Hotel building at 340 Main St. The last group will be admitted at 2 p.m.