I had three choices: Hill County wine tasting, Christmas shopping in Fredericksburg or visiting the most thoroughly comprehensive military museum in the world. It’s a no-brainer – only a day after Pearl Harbor, Admiral Nimitz deserved my undivided attention.
Just 70 miles north of San Antonio, the National Museum of the Pacific War honors, teaches and preserves an extraordinary chapter in our nation’s history. After a brief lesson on Japanese aggression with China, the museum launches into a detailed analysis of every single Allied offensive, regardless of win or loss, fought in the Pacific, its islands and in East Asia.
I noticed a few of our Greatest Generation lingering longer in exhibits describing the battles of Midway, Leyte Gulf, Iowa Jima and Okinawa. Reading breaks took place taking photos of authentic and restored tanks, planes, boats and torpedos.
Even the toughest soldiers skimmed the brutality and horror of the exhibits on the Rape of Nanking, The Bataan Death March and the human experiments of Unit 731. All of war is hell but some subjects are just too inhumane to understand.
Still, a majority of displays share personal stories of rescue, valor, bravery and honor. Those help to maintain your composure but it doesn’t hurt to bring a box of tissues just in-case.
Guides encourage a stay of no less than 7 hours with the option of returning within 48 hours if you need more time.