By Aaron Shuman, National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg, TX
As a museum professional just starting my career, attending AASLH’s 2021 Annual Meeting is a really exciting opportunity. I recently joined the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas, as the Museum Experience Coordinator. Until July, I was based in Little Rock, studying public history at UALR and working at both the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and the Clinton Presidential Library.
In my new position, my main responsibility is to run the museum’s living history program which includes stewardship of our Education Outreach Collection, managing our living history volunteers, and creating programs that bring the struggles and sacrifices of WWII to life.
AASLH 2021 has numerous exciting workshops that will apply directly to my position and the conference’s theme—Doing History/Doing Justice—encapsulates a distinct challenge that I face in designing educational programs that focus on fighting the war in the Pacific. I have to ensure that my programs capture the sacrifices of all Americans, not just those of white male combatants at the front as part of our mission to educate and inspire today’s and tomorrow’s generations about the Pacific War’s continued, global relevance.
I look forward to returning to Little Rock and grappling with these issues alongside other museum professionals from around the country for what I’m sure will be an enlightening experience!