The National WWII Museum in New Orleans debuts a new, permanent exhibit on Veterans Day 2013.
A special Veterans Day Program will be presented by the museum, along with the unveiling of "The Train Car Experience," presented by Union Pacific.
The museum's Associate Vice President, Clem Goldberger, says it's an interactive exhibit, "where our guests will be able to experience the sights, sounds and emotions of going off to war."
The exhibit employs a 26-passenger replica 1940s Pullman sleeper car, with train sounds and video of landscapes from across the country passing by the windows.
"Our guests will be able to see what it was like to ride a train as soldiers went off to basic training or to their port of embarkation," says Goldberger.
News broadcasts, film clips and Big Band music from the era will give visitors a sense of what it was like to leave home for deployment overseas.
While waiting to board the train, visitors can view archival film footage about the Axis' rise to power, the bombing of Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt's call for a declaration of war.
Servicemen and women took an estimated 44 million U.S. train rides between 1941 and 1945, and some of their stories are recounted during the "ride."
The Veterans Day program will also include the distribution of hand-knitted scarves to all veterans from the Knit Your Bit program, a spoken word tribute to our veterans by author Orlin Corey and an evening concert, 'Honoring Our Heroes', featuring John Goodman.
"We've partnered with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and we are presenting an evening concert that's the world premiere of a new piece of music called 'Dreams of the Fallen'," Goldberger says. "It will be brought to life by the entire LPO and the symphony chorus."
"Veterans Day is going to be a tremendous commemoration from morning right into the evening," says Goldberger.
TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, recently announced the winners of its Travelers' Choice Attractions awards based on feedback from millions of TripAdvisor travelers. The National WWII Museum, currently ranked #1 in New Orleans attractions, was named a Travelers' Choice Attraction for 2013.
The National WWII Museum was named the #7 museum in the United States and #14 worldwide for 2013. Other US museums in the top 10 included the National Air and Space Museum, the National Naval Aviation Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world - why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.