Archive for November, 2009


National Museum of the Marine Corps - Quantico

The exhibits are powerful – but nothing is more powerful than the presence of the young Marines who are touring the museum with us.  Minutes after we get our bearings in the huge main lobby, the first group marches in. They listen to instructions from their commanding officer (in perfect lines, on one bent knee in the front row) and respond with a resounding “YES,  SIR!!!”  after each one.    Some are dispatched to exhibits, some to the mess hall restaurant upstairs.  They look so young and earnest, with their hair cut so short and their shoulders squared, heads held high. There are women too, but their hair appears to have been spared.

It’s very humbling to visit this museum in their company.  After the recruitment and bootcamp exhibitions and films, we go chronologically through wars Marines have fought in – we experience sights and sounds of  WWI, Korea, Viet Nam.  Seeing the actual flag that was hoisted by the Marines on Iwo Jima is breathtaking. Who can forget that iconic photo.

As frivolous as a delicious lunch sounds in these circumstances – we had one here.  On second floor they have a recreation of the 18th century Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia, where according to legend the first colonial Marines were recruited in 1775.  There’s an interesting mural on one of the walls, and at one point during our meal the tavern-keeper gave a great talk about who was portrayed in it and why.

At the end of the day, we walk back to our Navion motorhome as some of the recruits are boarding their buses. It’s hard to imagine what their futures hold.  All we can do is thank them and say a prayer for their safety.

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Mount Vernon
Hats off to George and Martha!  We were thoroughly entertained here – so much to do and see.  We arrived after noon – had to scramble to get it all in. The mansion, the wharf and pioneer village, gardens, tomb, and the museums, films, some one-on-one time with Martha (she was awesome).
And as if all that history wasn’t enough – we went for the Hollywood version –  the National Treasure Guided Tour .  Okay, so we hadn’t actually seen the movie -but it got us into the basement of Mount Vernon, off the regular tourist path, and gave us lots to watch for when we rent National Treasure 2. The tour was great – half Hollywood, half history. Pictures are restricted, so we won’t be giving anything away.
View from Mount Vernon

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