21 October 2009

For the Troops (7/365) Visit a museum

A scene from the Newseum

This weekend, I attended a reception for alumni of the Children's National Medical Center
where I received my training in pediatric surgery. The reception was held in the Newseum, on Pennsylvania Av. in Washington DC. Wandering through the museum, I was amazed to see how our military is woven into the story of our country as told in the newspapers.
There were papers dating back to the Civil war that brought news from the front to citizens in towns and on farms. The horrors and victories of World War II were writ large in the papers of the times. A section of the Berlin War and a guard tower spoke of the heroism of the Berlin Airlift and the many troops deployed around the world during the Cold War. Exhibits showed how reporters embedded with the troops gained a first person account of war and an uninhibited look at the lives of soldiers.
Visiting this museum gave me an appreciation of how historic events were once current events splashing across the papers, and how so many citizens before us have also felt the hopes and fears as our nation's young troops risked their lives far away. It felt like pausing to remember them honored them and that the visit was an act of appreciation in itself.
I photographed on thing in the Newseum, the hall devoted to September 11th, 2001 which housed the radio tower from the World Trade Center, a section of the cornice from the Pentagon, and a single American flag.

Visit any museum of American History in our country, and you will learn a fraction of the sacrifice made for us by our brave troops through the years.

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