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The Newest Visitor Center in the Pacific

June 18, 2012

Persistence pays off.

American military personnel on Guam share the news they’ve been waiting years for.

It’s a lesson Allied troops learned time and time again throughout the campaigns in the Pacific Theater of World War II. At War in the Pacific National Historical Park on Guam, we honor their bravery and sacrifice, but we ponder when their hopes of war’s end began to be more of a reality than of a dream. Looking drearily at the long road to Tokyo,  more than one Leatherneck would mutter, “Out of the sticks in ’46”; “From hell to heaven in ’47;” or “Golden Gate by ’48.” Needless to say, the sudden end of the war in August 1945 brought immense jubilation and hard-won relief.

The new museum exhibits at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center are almost complete. This project has come a long way since park staff began work to redesign the museum. Now, located in a new building, we’re seeing the installation of exhibits with modern technology, hands-on interaction, multiple languages, and rarely-seen pictures and artifacts from World War II. Coupled with the park’s much-renowned film on Guam’s role in the war, this visitor center has been called “the best in the Pacific.” It will open to the public in conjunction with Guam’s 68th Liberation Day Festivities, and will remain free of charge.

Allied Prisoners of War celebrate victory and their impending homecoming.

For tens of thousands of young Americans, August 1945 was a Commencement. The end of the war meant the beginning of something new. Coming home. Going to college. Starting a career. Getting married. No matter the specifics, it was a new chapter. War in the Pacific NHP invites the public to come understand their experience, and be inspired by their legacy. Our new chapter begins next month. But for the few remaining weeks until the grand opening, please enjoy the behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the newest visitor center in the Pacific.

Were you there in August 1945? What do you remember about the end of the war? Do you have a friend or a relative that has shared their memories of the event with you? For all the excitement and joy, irrepressible sorrow, loss, and remorse were felt by thousands of Americans, too. Why do you think that was?

Have you been inside the visitor center at War in the Pacific NHP? What changes are you most looking forward to? Which stories should visitor center staff make an extra effort to highlight? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section!

One Comment leave one →
  1. hawaii bob permalink
    June 19, 2012 11:25 am

    Good stuff mahalo hb

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