The National WWII Museum marks the next phase of its $300 million expansion at a special morning ceremony March 22 when the uppermost piece of steel framework was installed on the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center and with a groundbreaking for construction of its next major pavilion, Campaigns of Courage: European & Pacific Theaters.
“Our goal has always been to complete these projects so that surviving members of the Greatest Generation and their families will be able to see this tribute to their service and sacrifice,” said Museum president and CEO Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller.
“For everyone else, these pavilions will offer an opportunity to learn fascinating stories and personal accounts, see spectacular restored WWII aircraft, and enjoy a hands-on educational museum experience.”
Meanwhile, Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, opened to the public in downtown Las Vegas on the 83rd anniversary of the Chicago St. Valentine’s Day Massacre – considered by many as the most notorious hit in Mob history. (Read: The Mob Museum Opens in Las Vegas)
Funds for the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center came from a $20 million Congressional grant through the United States Department of Defense and $15 million gift from The Boeing Company.[ Also Read: Music Icon Elvis Presley Exhibit Opens ]
This gift from Boeing, which built the B-17, represents the largest private contribution the Museum has received to date. Funding for pavilion exhibits and artifact restoration has been provided by several private donors.
The final phase of the Museum’s master plan calls for the construction of The Liberation Pavilion (scheduled for 2014), which will focus on the closing months of the war and immediate post war years, as well as an expansive special exhibits gallery.[ Also Read: A Night to Remember at Titanic Museum ]
A proposed hotel and conference center as well as a parking structure, if built, will finish out the expansion. Upon completion, the Museum will directly sustain more than 400 jobs and generate $100 million each year in positive economic impact.
The National World War II 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.
Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front.