Saturday, January 3, 2015
On December 7th, 2014, Troy and I decided to take Jackson over to Fredericksburg, TX to see the National Museum of the Pacific War. You see, Jackson is OBSESSED with WWII Naval Battles. OBSESSED. As in he spends more time watching videos of the Pacific battles most days than he does playing Minecraft. (Those of you with Minecraft addicts will understand the enormity of this. LOL)
ANYWAY, what a FABULOUS museum. It took us all day to get through it. The price of admission is for two days, and next time we go back, we will plan on that second day. I learned more in the 8 hours we were there than I learned in high school AND college history classes. (Which mainly focus on the European side of the war.) It is well worth going to see it. They have the main museum, a small one dedicated to Admiral Chester Nimitz, who was born in Fredericksburg, and then, THIS was the cool part, the Pacific Combat Zone. They have a set up like an aircraft carrier hanger deck, then a real life PT boat, then another area where they simulate a Pacific landing several times a year. It is complete with tanks and everything else boys of all ages would love. (We very much plan on taking Jackson back for at least one of these reenactments.)
MY favorite part of the day was the Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony. It was beautiful. They invite Pearl Harbor survivors to come every year. Sadly, there was only one left for the year. We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jim Hardwick. What a WONDERFUL man. It kills me that we didn't think to ask for his address, as Jackson said after the fact, that he'd sure like to send a thank you letter and a Christmas card to him. HOW SWEET IS MY SON?!?!?! They could have easily spent hours together. It was such a heart warming thing to see, Jackson actively listening to his story, and asking questions about that horrible day. It's been a while since I've seen him so engaged with someone. This, in my opinion, is one of the BEST ways to learn about history, and sadly the men who fought these battles will soon all be gone. Jack is VERY good about spotting people with different service caps on though, and is quick to run up to them and thank them for their service. (He does to anyone in uniform, I LOVE IT! We get PLENTY of opportunities to do so in the San Antonio area.) One of these days I would like to take him to the VFW hall and allow him to talk to the guys that hang out there. They ALWAYS have great stories, and I know Jack would learn plenty about the wars and how they were fought. (Although hopefully without too much gore, because he is still an 8 year old child.)
Anyway, if you're within a reasonable drive time to Fredericksburg someday, I HIGHLY suggest you go see one of the best kept secrets in Texas.