Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Great Museum

We arrived in Fredericksburg, Texas, yesterday afternoon and found our spot at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park south of town - a decent place to spend a few days seeing the Hill Country

This morning we decided to first stop in town to gather some more information on the wineries in the area and check out what we remembered as the Admiral Nimitz WWII Museum that we missed on our visit a few years ago. We were curious about the famous Admiral Nimitz who was born and raised in this little town in the early 1900s. As sometimes happens we learned this place was more than we thought. The museum is the National Museum of the Pacific War, including a Nimitz museum and much more concerning WWII in the Pacific. There are many extensive displays of memorabilia, some of it personal items donated by veterans' families. One of the most striking exhibits to me was toward the very end. There was this flag, a bit tattered, that would maybe be similar to many old flags that you see displayed in historical exhibits. But then we read the explanation of this one tacked to the front of the plexiglass holding this old specimen. It told the story of this 48 star flag made by POW Paul Spain and two other inmates while prisoners of the Japanese. Just before his unit surrendered he and other prisoners destroyed their flag to save it from being captured and burned. Somehow they tore the flag apart and saved the stars for 3 and 1/2 years of captivity. Waiting for their liberators to rescue them, Spain and his fellow prisoners managed to use a nail in an old sewing machine to construct a U. S. flag using these saved stars and the remnants of U. S. parachutes that dropped supplies to them in their POW camp. This was one of many stories told in the museum.

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