Category Archives: History

How The International Museum of World War II Ensures We Remember the Sacrifices of Those Who Served in WWII

Dad's return

Welcoming my father back from a mission in the early 1990s.

This Memorial Day, we must remember the sacrifices our military service members and their families have made both at home and abroad. As a Navy brat, I was taught by my father to always remember the 7th of December to honor the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, which directly led to the formation of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions also known as the “Seabees,” the area of the Navy in which my father served. Because of this, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with The International Museum of World War II in Natick, Massachusetts to support its mission to educate visitors about the causes and consequences of war, and to convey that war is personal and complex.

Formerly known as The Museum of World War II, The International Museum of World War II recently changed its name to better reflect its unique perspective and match the breadth and depth of its collection. The new name encapsulates the reach of the Museum’s extensive and rare collection with more than 500,000 artifacts, spanning the entire world at war—all of the countries, the cultures, the home fronts and battlefronts, the ordinary soldiers, leaders and those caught up in the dislocations of war.

As part of Greenough’s partnership with the Museum and through strategic media outreach, we have helped to raise its profile from a little-known entity to an internationally-recognized institution. One of the most memorable campaigns to date was our work to promote the Museum’s exhibit honoring the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor: Why We Still Remember featured more than 100 artifacts documenting the surprise attack and United States’ response and provided a rare glimpse into Japanese atmosphere leading up to attack. Chronicling what transpired before, during and after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the exhibition presented the first message from Pearl Harbor to “All U.S. Navy Ships present Hawaiian area” announcing the attack in the first moments, pieces of a Japanese plane that was shot down, the first printed declaration of war by Japan on the United States, and artifacts depicting the overwhelming sense of American patriotism that emerged as a result of the attack.

Through our tailored, national media campaign the Museum was featured in a total of 23 articles with more than 402 pickups spanning national, local, art and history trade publications. The coverage included a stunning review in the Wall Street Journal and included features in TIME, The Art Newspaper and the Associated Press on the rare artifacts on display in the exhibition. Plus, USA Today named the presentation one of the “12 best museum exhibits to see this fall.”

The media coverage is a testament to the significant and thought-provoking work the Museum carries out. Beyond the Pearl Harbor exhibition, we have had the opportunity to pitch numerous stories on the Museum’s robust educational initiatives, exceptional acquisitions, awarded grants and profiles of founder Kenneth W. Rendell, as well as other temporary exhibitions. This coverage has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Reuters and the Boston Globe, among others.

The International Museum of World War II is a remarkable institution that reminds visitors of the human aspect of war. Military brat or not, if you’re in the Greater Boston area, I invite you to schedule a visit to the Museum to be reminded of the sacrifices of those who have served our country.

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Franklin High School’s 50th Anniversary

John Kucinski Franklin High School Cornerstone Ceremony 2012I consider myself very lucky for my family heritage. My grandfather, Romuald Kucinski, joined the US Navy through the GI Bill of 1944, returned to Milwaukee to attend college, became a teacher and recreation department director and then in 1962, he was asked by the town of Franklin, Wisconsin to become the first principal of the high school.

Romuald Kucinski Principal Franklin High School

50 years later, the community celebrated the founding of the high school with various events including opening the Cornerstone Ceremony in which a time capsule sealed in October 1962 was opened. It was a lovely event with speeches by the current mayor, the first athletic director, the current athletic director, the current principal, a founding school board member, former students, and my dad, standing in for my late grandfather.

Franklin High School Time Capsule

Following the speeches, the time capsule was opened. Inside, we found many documents including report cards, students memories/predictions, the school’s handbook, a scroll with everyone’s signature, among other items. Everything was perfectly preserved. A treasure for the town to keep.

All in all, I was so happy to attend the cornerstone ceremony – to witness part of the community’s history as well as my family’s history. For more information regarding the history of Franklin High School, I defer to my father’s speech read at the ceremony. Download the speech here: Franklin High School’s 50th Anniversary Remarks by John Kucinski


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