War mu­se­ums look to tell more on Asia

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By CHANG JUN in San Fran­cisco junechang@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Two World War II mu­se­ums plan to co­op­er­ate more on ed­u­cat­ing younger gen­er­a­tions about the war, in­clud­ing the fiercely con­tested bat­tles in China, Burma and In­dia.

Gor­don Mueller, CEO and pres­i­dent of The Na­tional WWII Mu­seum in New Or­leans, Louisiana, took a brief tour of the San Fran­cisco-based WWII Pa­cific War Memo­rial Hall on Thurs­day, meet­ing his coun­ter­part Florence Fang.

The two dis­cussed pos­si­ble trips to Asia, in­clud­ing to Ja­pan and China, to bet­ter un­der­stand war-re­lated his­tory there, and future team­work on find­ing the re­mains of Amer­i­can sol­diers who fought for China dur­ing World War II.

Fang in­tro­duced her ar­ti­facts on ex­hibit in a white three-story build­ing on Sacra­mento Street, where the mu­seum is lo­cated. It used to house the Chi­nese Daily Post, a pub­li­ca­tion es­tab­lished in 1927.

The build­ing was later con­verted to a cen­ter for over­seas Chi­nese to gather and rally sup­port for their home­land dur­ing the Ja­panese in­va­sion of China in 1931. The build­ing got its new pur­pose a year ago, telling sto­ries about how Chi­nese peo­ple suf­fered from the Ja­panese Army and fought back.

Mueller said his mu­seum, founded in 2000 orig­i­nally as the D-Day Mu­seum, grad­u­ally ex­panded its cov­er­age, mostly of the Amer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence in the war, to in­clude other chap­ters, such as the heroic deeds tak­ing place in China, Burma and In­dia. It has been des­ig­nated by the US Congress as the of­fi­cial na­tional mu­seum of World War II.

“I’m a his­to­rian, an ed­u­ca­tor,” said Mueller. “When we are think­ing, we are sav­ing the his­tory, we are mak­ing his­tory.”

We’ve re­ceived com­ments and do­na­tions from vis­i­tors world­wide; they thank our ef­forts.” Florence Fang, WWII Pa­cific War Memo­rial founder

Vis­i­tors to war-themed mu­se­ums will un­der­stand the price of free­dom and be in­spired by what they learn, said Mueller, adding that the ma­jor tourist des­ti­na­tion in New Or­leans is draw­ing 700,000 pa­trons world­wide at an av­er­age age younger than those vis­it­ing New Or­leans.

Ear­lier this month, the mu­seum learned it was ranked No. 4 in the US in the 2016 TripAd­vi­sor Trav­el­ers’ Choice awards for mu­se­ums, and No. 11 in the world.

Fang said the San Fran­cisco mu­seum has wit­nessed sta­ble growth in vis­i­tors.

“We’ve re­ceived com­ments and do­na­tions from vis­i­tors world­wide; they thank our ef­forts, en­cour­age us to con­tinue,” said the 81-year-old Fang. “We are so touched, and be­lieve we are do­ing the right thing.”

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