Amanda Reichenberger, an 11th grade student from Haven, Kansas, today was named one of The National WWII Museum’s “Salute to Freedom” award winners and will be one of 51 students nationwide to travel to New Orleans to participate in the Grand Opening of the Museum’s new US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, in January 2013.
The contest, made possible by the Museum’s unique partnership with the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, called on qualifying students to submit an application and respond to two essay questions. Winners were chosen based on their knowledge of the past and its connection to the future as well as their knowledge of their state’s role in World War II. Winners were announced during the National History Day awards ceremony, held June 14 in College Park, Maryland.
Amanda's participation in National History Day has led her to think about the idea of a “perfect” society. She has recently come to the conclusion that “perfection is decided upon by the perception of the individual in society.” Amanda advanced to the National History Day Contest with a documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Her essay that won her the trip to New Orleans emphasized Wichita's position as “Air Capital of the World” and its contributions to the manufacture of planes that were integral to the war effort.
“Amanda Reichenberger is a great example of just one standout student who recognizes the important lessons of WWII, why it was fought, how it was won and how it continues to have an impact today,” said Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and CEO of The National WWII Museum. “We hope that when she returns, she will share her experience with other students and help advance our goal of educating younger generations about the war that changed the world. It is particularly important for Kansas’ younger citizens to learn the stories of WWII now as there are currently only 11,765 WWII veterans left in the state and by 2020 there will be 2,458.”
In advance of his or her journey to The National WWII Museum, each of the winners will select and write captions for five images that represent their state’s contributions during WWII. These images, along with a short essay linking the images and emphasizing the state’s role in the war effort, will become part of a special exhibition at the Grand Opening celebration.
Winners and their chaperones will arrive in New Orleans prior to the festivities in January, spend two nights in downtown New Orleans and participate in the Grand Opening celebration. Travel costs, the hotel stay and meals for each student and chaperone will be covered by The National WWII Museum. The students and their chaperones will be among the first visitors to enter the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.
The Museum’s new pavilion will pay tribute to all branches of the US Armed Forces who were active in the war. The pavilion will contain a spectacular collection of macro artifacts including a restored B-17 Flying Fortress and an interactive submarine experience based on the final mission of the USS Tang. A special section will feature a wall displaying images of all 464 WWII Medal of Honor recipients and interactive kiosks which allow visitors to access the military and personal history of each recipient.
Visitors to The National WWII Museum can also take advantage of a new History & Heritage travel package, which offers the rare opportunity to experience an inside look at the Museum’s historical treasures as well as the rich culture and history of New Orleans.