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It Happens Here: American Heritage Museum in Hudson offers interactive lessons in history of wars

It Happens Here: American Heritage Museum in Hudson offers interactive lessons in history of wars
It Happens Here: American Heritage Museum in Hudson offers interactive lessons in history of wars 03:32

HUDSON - About 30 miles west of Boston there's a museum dedicated to U.S. wars and what it was like to fight in them.

However, at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, the focus is not celebrating our conflicts but making sure we don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

They do that by telling the personal stories of the men and women who were on the front lines. The museum launched in 2019, starting at the Revolutionary War through today, using rare relics.

President Rob Collings took us on an emotional tour through time, showing us a boat that landed on the beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

"Think about the 21 guys who were on here. They were sitting on this boat for hours and hours waiting before they have that wave come ashore," Collings told WBZ-TV.

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A boat used in the D-Day invasion at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, Massachusetts. CBS Boston

The museum received many of these amazing artifacts as a gift from Jacques Littlefield after his death in 2009.

Here it's about mixing the technology with the personal stories, how each conflict led to the next and why we need to know what it was like, including experiencing a simulated trench fire fight.

But if you really want to step into history, you can drive an M24 Chaffee, a tank used in World War II and the Korean War.

"To get in there, it changes your opinion on everything, because you get in and you feel like I'm that 18-year-old kid storming the beaches of Normandy," Collings said.

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You can go for a tank ride at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, Massachusetts. CBS Boston

To drive the tank you have to give a pretty large donation. For more information, click here. There will be a demonstration on May 21. The museum is open Wednesday though Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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