New Orleans-Based National D-Day Museum Extends Reach With 2006 Victory In Europe Tours

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“We are all in this together.”

Americans from all walks of life said “We are all in this together” during World War II, when the country fought as one against fascism to preserve our nation’s democracy.

Today, the above refrain is even more accurate as the New Orleans-based National D-Day Museum (http://www.ddaymuseum.org) continues its mission of celebrating the American spirit despite a lengthy closure and significant decrease in visitors as the Gulf Coast region continues to struggle in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Museum, designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, went international last fall when it announced two one-week “Victory in Europe” tours from June 1 to 16, 2006. Due to popular demand the June 1st to 8th tour is sold out and an additional tour has been added for September 1 to 8, 2006.

With the support of the Museum’s Director of Research, World War II scholars, veterans and French resistance fighters, travelers can learn first-hand about the solidarity exhibited in World War II with tours that follow the Allies from the beginning of the D-Day invasion plans in London through the final days of the war at Hitler’s famed Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany.

“The very essence of The National D-Day Museum’s educational mission always has been to convey the optimism and strength of the American spirit,” noted Museum President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller. “Indeed, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the hardships we anticipate during the rebuilding of our great city, it’s only fitting that The National D-Day Museum reinforce the messages of courage, teamwork, sacrifice, and ingenuity that characterized the American people during World War II. We are bringing the Museum to the people with a variety of virtual and experiential programs, and our ‘Victory in Europe’ travel series enables us to offer a one-of-a-kind experience to today’s generations while continuing the expansion of our campus and the programs as planned prior to the hurricane.”

Each week-long tour represents a rare opportunity to hear the personal recollections from World War II veterans, most of whom are in their eighties. The tours, led by the Museum’s Director of Research, Martin K.A. Morgan, will include lecturers and presentations by World War II veterans Harold “Hal” Baumgarten, 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division and George H. Leidenheimer, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment/82nd Airborne Division, as well as French resistance fighters and native experts in Luxembourg and Germany.

Each all-inclusive tour package includes hotel accommodations with breakfasts and at least four dinners, excursions and entrance fees, full-time historians, tour escorts and presentations by guest speakers. The June 8th to 16th Paris-Berchtesgaden tour begins at $4,490 per person. The September 1st to 8th London-Paris tour begins at $3,990 per person. Options for combining both tours is available upon request. A detailed itinerary is available at: http://www.ddaymuseum.org/travel/index.html. For more information visit: http://www.ddaymuseum.org, call: 1-877-813-3329, ext. 257.

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Judith Musa

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