So Tuesday bright and early (well, not so bright, it was pretty foggy) found us on a bus to the National Museum of the Pacific War
in Fredericksburg, TX. The trip took about an hour and a half and we passed many wildflowers along the road. Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush and various daisies and others I can't recognize. Texas in April is a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson to this day.
The museum is partly in the old Nimitz Hotel which was where Admiral Nimitz grew up. It has been restored to somewhat of its 19th c. appearance and houses a history of the Nimitz family and a tribute to Admiral Nimitz. There is a large courtyard surrounded by stone walls upon which plaques dedicated to individuals, ships and squadrons are dedicated. Evidently there is also a large Museum of the Pacific War but many of us missed out on that fact.
The weather was chancy and so they held our ceremony of remembrance inside. Killer read the names and Zev rang the bell as each of the sailor's names was read. Then they remembered the wives who have passed (called their First Mates). Then a bugler played taps. It was very moving.
Then we processed outside where we found the plaque to the USS Amick covered iwth a fabric cover awaiting its unveiling. Killer & Zev lifted the cover and said a few words. Then we took lots of pictures of us and the plaque. We wandered around and found the plaque for the Astoria, the ship on which my uncle Gene Amick actually died and also a plaque to the Saco, the ship my father's brother was on.
After the unveiling we wandered around looking at plaques and then sat in a rose arbor for awhile. It was very interesting how many people came up to the guys and thanked them for their service. (They were wearing WWII vet tags that let them in the museum free.) People had their photos taken with them and plied them for stories. It was cool. Then it started sprinkling and we retreated under an overhang.
Evidently my folks and some others who knew there was an actual large Museum of the Pacific War went over there to view the exhibits. I'm sure it was very cool but I'm not sure but what I think the guys got as much out of the attention as they would have of exhibits about the war. They are mostly very well read on the topic it seemed.
We went off to lunch at the Peachtree Tea House where we were at four separate tables. I sat with my Mum and my sister and her daughter. Martha & Katie had driven down from Austin to meet us at the Museum. It was awesome to get a chance to visit with them! Katie (who can be found blogging at http://eco-monkeys.com/
) is still a high school orchestra director but is getting very burnt out on the school where she is currently teaching. The administration is just that unsupportive. She plans to move on next year and maybe do like her brother and head overseas to teach. Martha is currently taking a class in bust-making and she showed me a bunch of busts from the Pacific War Museum of which she had taken pictures.
After lunch we headed back to San Antonio where I processed my pictures and then dressed for the banquet. We had a lovely banquet set up for us by AFV and I chatted with folks and took more pictures. Then my stomach dictated it was time to retire and I went up and took allergy meds and imodium. *sigh*
Wednesday I caught a shuttle to the airport along with four of the reunion folks. It turned out Zev and I were on the same plane to Dallas so we got our seats changed to sit together. Zev is 88 and lives in North Carolina. He was fun to visit with and I'm really glad I had the chance to sit with him. Unlike the trip out, Dallas to San Jose was on time and I mostly slept through it.
Got home, had a lovely dinner and hangout with Russell and then got to bed on time. Being back home in our waterbed is a goodness. But I had a great trip and am really happy to have gone!