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George H.W. Bush opens new war museum

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Former President George H.W. Bush, his wife Barbara and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cut the ribbon on the expansion of a national war museum in Texas.

Five-thousand people, including survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, attended the ceremonies opening the George H.W. Bush Gallery of the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported Tuesday.

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The expanded 38,000-square-foot museum cost $15.5 million and is twice its original size. Speakers at the occasion said it was the world's most comprehensive museum of its kind.

"In the walls of this wonderful museum, you quickly learn the facts, the true story, the living history of what happened during that memorable time so many years ago. We have an obligation to pass on to future generations the abject horror of war. Most of all, it is documented and remembered and used as a lesson and as an example of what happens when mankind falls short of its highest aspirations," said Bush, who was a U.S. Navy pilot and was shot down in the Pacific during the war.

Jack Lent, 89, who was stationed in San Diego during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack, said he was happy to be at the ceremony.

Lent said the day after Pearl Harbor he was on guard duty on the San Diego beaches with machine guns. "I thought the (Japanese) were going to invade us," he said.

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