World War II Museum, New Orleans

Today marks the 79th Anniversary of the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, when many historians point out as precedent to the US entering into World War II. The day following the bombing of the Honolulu Naval Base, Congress declared War on Japan.

I grew up hearing that those who fail to recognize our past are doomed to repeat it, which is to say that remembering the pain that War incites is one which hopefully we can continue to be reminded of to keep peace. I watch the destruction that is created in war torn countries; the ways that lives are changed in an instant by the blast of an explosive, the firing of a weapon and the consequences that follow. The retaliation culture that spawns only more pain and confusion.

I hope that we learn to shield ourselves from the senselessness not by turning a blind eye, but by leaning into what we can relate to in our humanity. Reminding ourselves so that we soberingly reconcile the repercussions that are still playing out from actions almost 8 decades later.

Our location this week is New Orleans’ National WWII Museum. An expansive and immersive exhibit that invites guests to take on personas of individuals involved across branches of the armed forces. As you progress through different portions (multiple buildings) of the museum, you learn not only the chronological timelines of the war, but different areas that you may not have ever considered.

{Pro Tips: the different gift shops in the museum have some similarities, but also some unique items in each that are worth your time. Also, if you accidentally wear a chambray shirt and have a spare red bandana, you too can pose as Rosie the Riveter.}

In the melting pot that Houston is, I am proud that I have been exposed to multiple beautiful cultures that reach past our differences and come together, especially in chaotic times. It has taught me that the world is a much larger place than I can even to this day imagine, but that we share so many similarities which reduce how we perceive it’s size. I would say that attending The National WWII provided the same feeling.

The track this week is a cover from Local Natives of Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam”. The song addresses a Holy War, which may not have personified the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the lyrics and acapella harmony sold me. In the middle of war, if it’s all we can do, we just try to keep our faith and keep looking for more. More than the current state of whatever we are battling through.

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