The 'Road to Tokyo' is an emotional history lesson

The Road to Tokyo is an emotional history lesson

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A new interactive exhibit at the National World War II Museum puts you in the middle of the brutal battles in Asia and the Pacific.
It's called "The Road to Tokyo".

Inside the Campaigns of Courage Pavilion are stories of victories and horrors of the Asian and Pacific Theaters. "As you enter into the 'Road to Tokyo', you're in the briefing room on the carrier deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise," said museum official Owen Glendening

You walk from an aircraft carrier into the first decisive victory for the allies in the Pacific in August of 1942. You are suddenly in a thick island jungle.

"You move through the Guadalcanal, a six-month campaign which is brutal and the outcome isn't certain until the bitter end," he said.

In the center of the sprawling exhibit is a gallery called The China, India, Burma Theater.  It shows what was happening in Asia as the battles in the Pacific raged.

"As you can see  these are the Himalayan mountains, the tallest ones in the world," Glendening said pointing to large projection screens.

"Our planes weren't designed for these heights or low oxygen levels but we did what we had to do," he said

From personal artifacts like the makeshift diary of a prisoner of war to tales of triumph that are legendary, the museum is an emotional ride.

"We lose the Philippines all together and General MacArthur vows I shall return and return he did when forces were able to push back," Glendening said.

He points to the New Orleans Connection in an exhibit. General MacArthur trudging to the shores of the Philippines from a Higgins Boat.

Rare color footage from 1945 plays in the exhibit of Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

Bombings that ended the war are explained in the last gallery.

"The Atomic Bombs come in August and finally the Emperor intervened and a surrender was signed. September 2, 1945 ending the war," Glendening said.

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