Category Archives: Blog

National Museum of Americans in Wartime

   The Americans in Wartime Museum is a not-for-profit cultural and educational institution dedicated to honoring those who have served in all branches of the United States military and on the home front, from World War I to the present. The Museum serves to educate the public, especially young people, by telling individual stories of personal experience, realities of war, and sacrifices made by Americans striving to preserve our freedoms. The Museum inspires visitors by enabling them to experience military vehicles, explore artifacts, and participate in reenactments and special programs in a dynamic, interactive environment.

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It Was My Great Adventure

Approximately 2 million Americans served their country, and the world, during World War II.  Europe is free today, in part, because of the selfless sacrifices of ordinary Americans asked to do extraordinary things.   Among them was Jim Sawicki who served in the United States Army and fought with the “Red Bulls” at Anzio during the Battle of the Bulge.  Speaking of his experience during the war, Jim stated, “It was my great adventure.” It was Jim Sawicki, who lived less than a mile from the future home of the Americans in Wartime Museum in Dale City, VA, who inspired the Voices of Freedom Project.  Our mission is to capture and … Continue reading

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The Twelve Tanks of Christmas

The Twelve Tanks of Christmas The Christmas Classic…..Americans in Wartime Style.  Taking a cue from the 1780 song, we have a short paragraph on several of our vehicles. On the First Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me—a Model 1917 tank.  This little US copy of the French M1917 tank is one of the Museum’s marquee restorations.  Just finding the correct engine took years.  Wrenching off the rusted bolts holding the suspension together resulted in many a skinned knuckle.  But the staff and volunteers persevered and she made her debut at the Open House several years ago. On the Second Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to … Continue reading

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First Snow

First Snow Last week, the fine folks of northern Virginia were treated to their first snowflakes of the season.  As the weather forecasters say, it was a conversational snow.  And it occurred mid-day, so it didn’t screw up traffic….always important around here. Folks gathered up at the windows and pointed to the flakes.  There were a few gasps as the wind whipped it sideways at times.  But in general, everybody took it as a marker of the Holiday season to come. Holiday season, a time to come out of the cold and enjoy good food, good wine, and warmth of company.  People gather at family and friends, and at the … Continue reading

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The Big Reveal

On Saturday of the 2019 version of the Open House, the Americans in Wartime Museum demonstrated once again why it is an international leader in the restoration and display of armored vehicles.  It did something that literally no other museum across the globe could do…….  Intrigued?  Good, read on. That day was the culmination of years of planning, and thousands of hours of hard work, sweat, and tears by the staff and volunteers. Saturday was glorious in terms of weather, and, visitors for the Open House.  The field was crammed with vehicles, living historians, and our wonderful fans.  But as 11:00 am approached, there was a buzz across the display … Continue reading

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Five Simple Words

Five Words……. “Thank You For Your Service.” Five simple words that have become part of the American lexicon. We hear it routinely now, but it wasn’t until last night that I realized the incredible power of those five simple words. Once again, it was at dinner. And with a fine Belgian Ale and a great piece of steak (never underestimate the cognitive benefits of both!) I was with two gentlemen who had served in the army of a European country during the Cold War. These two gents were incredible. They had a Doctorate’s level of knowledge about the Battle of the Bulge, and a passion for preserving history. I found … Continue reading

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The History of the Marine Corps War Memorial, Washington DC

HONORING THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF IWO JIMA By Kraig M. Butrum, CEO National Museum of Americans In Wartime As one who has lived in Washington DC for 24 years, it is an honor to drive by the Marine Corps War memorial that ‘honors the memory of the men and women of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775.” The United States Marine Corps War Memorial represents this nation’s gratitude to Marines and those who have fought beside them. While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to … Continue reading

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Luna 15 and the Race to the Moon

The “space race” is a phrase that most of us have heard of.  We understand it to be the race between the United States and the Soviet Union to get to the moon.  The race to the moon was one of the many “battles” fought during the Cold War, and America’s winning of that war was in part because we beat the Soviets there.  But many have not heard of the literal race that began on July 13th, 1969, three days before the launch of Apollo 11 which would result in Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin being the first humans to walk on the surface of the moon. Three days … Continue reading

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Historic First Steps

July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the moon.  While this feat didn’t feature direct combat against a hostile nation, it was part of the broader Cold War being waged against the Soviet Union.   President John F. Kennedy, a fierce critic and opponent of communism set the bar extremely high when, during his speech in Houston on September 12, 1962, set the goal of landing a man on the moon and bringing him home safely before the end of the decade.  He said we should set this as a goal, “not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”   At … Continue reading

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The Stuart Light Tank

The M3 Stuart Light Tank was designed for service during World War II by The U.S. Army Ordnance Department and built by the American Car & Foundry Company.  A manufacturer of railroad cars, ACF built approximately 22,744 Stuarts between 1941 and 1944 in both the M3 and M5 variants. The M3 and M3A1 Stuart got it’s power from an air-cooled radial engine while the M5 variant used twin Cadillac V8 automobile engines.  The later version of the Stuart had many advantages over it’s older brother.  It was quieter, ran at a cooler temperature, had more room inside for its four man crew,  and its operation was easier to learn because … Continue reading

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