The View From Ninth Goes To Washington

The blog took a break for the past several days since I was out of town.  I visited Washington, D.C. with my wife, visiting for the first time in several years.  I completed an internship in Washington as part of my graduate program back in 2007, but hadn’t been back since.

Washington is one of those places that never seems to change that much but is always interesting.  I didn’t get to do everything that I wanted to on this trip, we didn’t stop by the Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean Memorials, or Arlington Cemetery.  But I did get to visit the Newseum.  I had never been there before, since the location on Constitution Avenue was under construction when I was last in D.C.  I was blown away.  As opposed to the Smithsonian museums, which are free of charge, you do pay to visit the Newseum, but it is worth it.

A few things that stood out to me including the exhibit on the Kennedy assassination.  Very rarely do I read all of the descriptions and captions associated with a museum exhibit, but I did here.  The exhibit incorporated multimedia in the form of scanner recordings from Dallas, Walter Cronkite’s historic newscast breaking the news of Kennedy’s death, etc.  I found it amazing that a recounting of the events of that day could be so shocking, especially since it happened 50 years ago and I wasn’t around to live through it.

Another touching exhibit was the display of the Berlin wall.  It was interesting to see the difference in each side of the wall, the completely clean concrete on the communist side of the wall and the graffiti-laden side of the wall found on the free West Berlin side.

There’s an exhibit on 9/11.  As we watched a film on the attacks in a small theater found in the exhibit, I noticed lots of children who likely weren’t even born at the time of the terrorist attacks.  It’s a stark reminder of how much time has passed since September 11, 2001.  To me, it’s a memory.  To them (and to my kids,) it’s a history lesson.

My kids are young, 2 1/2 and 6 months.  But I’m looking forward to taking them to places like the Newseum, the Smithsonian, the Holocaust Museum and all the other attractions in Washington.  It’s full of reminders of things we should never forget.

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