USS Alabama — Mobile Bay
The largest and most costly war in the history of mankind occurred a mere 75 years ago. Millions of men served in the armed forces of most nations in the world and millions died, both civilian and military. In the aftermath, national boundaries changed, governments fell and were replaced, often by worse ones, and a new type of war began between the two superpowers left standing. Among the key weapons that brought about victory for the United States, were the powerful battleships, carriers, and submarines of the Pacific Fleet. We begin our tour aboard one of those battleships, the USS Alabama (BB-60), anchored now in Mobile Bay. The fathers and sons will have the unusual opportunity to spend the first night aboard this iconic ship, sleeping in the bunks of the berthing deck. We have the run of the ship and will be taught by military historian Bill Potter about the war, battleships and the role of the Alabama in many major battles in the Pacific.
Chalmette Plantation — War of 1812
After a short drive from Mobile to New Orleans, we will visit two premier historical sites that should be on everyone’s bucket list, more than once. In 1812, the United States were on the verge of losing a war to Great Britain. In a final attempt to wrest the Mississippi from our grasp, a veteran army, fresh from defeating Napoleon Bonaparte, was sent to capture New Orleans. President Madison sent General Andrew Jackson, already both victorious and notorious to stop them. In one of the most decisive engagements in American history, Jackson met the British army at Chalmette Plantation outside of the city and routed them in what some thought to be a miraculous accomplishment. We will walk the battlefield, tell the amazing stories, and wonder too at how such a small and diverse army could have defeated one of the most powerful forces on the planet.
We will also pay our respects to some of the great men of the past who are buried in Metairie Cemetery; men such as Confederate Generals John Bell Hood and Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard and the Army of Tennessee and Army of Northern Virginia memorials. Metairie is also the not so final resting place of Pastor Benjamin Morgan Palmer, one of the most remarkable and effective preachers of the Gospel in the 19th Century. We will meet at the gravesites and tell stories of daring, failure and faithfulness.
New Orleans is home to the world-renowned D-Day Museum, founded through the inspiration of WWII historian Stephen Ambrose. One of the greatest soul-stirring and significant battles of that war — or any war — was the Allied attack on 6 June, 1944 on the beaches of the Normandy coast of France. “The Mighty Endeavor” by hundreds of thousands of American, British, and Canadian troops in airborne attacks, naval bombardment, and bold-faced infantry assaults combined to initiate the drive through France and Belgium to liberate Europe from the domination of Adolph Hitler’s Germany. The multi-building, state-of-the-art, interactive museum presents D-Day and WWII in one powerful and unforgettable experience. We will offer a full day and a half of experiencing the museum, the D-Day Veterans, and expert interpreters on the very anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied counter-invasion of France.
D-Day Tribute Banquet
We will end our D-Day experience with a private banquet held in the Stage Door Canteen at the D-Day Museum.
Following an exclusive movie screening for our group, we will dine with our friends and hear testimonies from our honored WWII Veterans as they recount their adventures and the lessons learned over 70 years ago. This is a golden opportunity to connect with a generation from a remarkable time in history.
Our themes that underlie this tour will include the high cost of defending liberty, the fallibility of man and the sovereignty of God, the importance of duty well-performed, burdens of leadership, role of communications and secrets in war, and the importance of remembering and commemorating the men and events of the past.