Marine Corps Museum – April 2012

Original Post Date: April 2012

From April 11th through the 13th, I made a trip to Quantico, Virginia. During this visit, I went to the White House, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and I drove by the Washington Monument. The reason I am writing about this experience is because any kind of tour visit takes you back through a history lesson. It was interesting to drive by the Washington Monument to see that it actually had a slight lean. The lean was not actually part of the initial design, but when the Washington, DC area had the earthquake in Fall of 2011, the monument suffered some damages. Something as part of history now had even more history to it as it barely survived an earthquake. The monument also suffered structural damages at it now has a few cracks in its foundation.

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The part of this trip I’d like to discuss is the National Museum of the Marine Corps. When I think of the wars our country has been through only a few of the majors stand out. World War One and World War Two, our Civil War, Vietnam and now the War on Terror in Iraq. What really stuck with me during my tour through the museum, was the number of wars or Marine Corps has been through. Many of these wars are often overlooked. There were about seven different exhibits that the museum offered. Each one taking you back in time to different eras of the Marine Corps.

The very first exhibit that you walk in to is, of course, the making of the marines. They actually have a large bus on display, similar to the one the Marine Recruits would take from the airport to boot camp. Another really cool aspect is they had two booths set up. One was for men and one was for women. You step inside these booths and Drill Instructor voices begin to yell at you. This gives you an idea of what it’s like to go through boot camp.

The next exhibit that I walked through was World War One gallery. This gallery displayed photos, and plaques detailing the dates of this war. Something they displayed through this exhibit in addition to all of the exhibits was old letters sent to and from the soldiers and their loved ones. It was truly unique to read some of the things written during those times. I then walked through the World War Two gallery. It was very similar to the first gallery in the way that it was set-up. The museum also had galleries on the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War. Each gallery displayed facts from the war, correspondence from the war, vehicles and artillery that our Marines used during those eras. The Cold War display was really cool, and I mean literally. You actually walked into the display room and you could feel a temperature drop. I didn’t know this until now, but the original Flag of Iwo Jima is displayed at this museum. I even got in to trouble for trying to take photograph with the flash on. Apparently, the camera flash does something to the preservation of the flag.

Then, the final gallery that I walked through was the September 11th gallery. This portion of the gallery was smaller, but equally as impactful. The museum had a couple artifacts from the rubble on display, with factual plaques about the number of lives lost that day in the planes, the towers as well as the rescuers who died.

This tour through the Marine Corps Museum was an eye-opening experience for me. I was reminded of the lives lost through the many wars that our country has faced. To think that these were the battles that only included the Marine Corps, and that’s the youngest branch of the military. I always had an appreciation for our military service members, but now I feel like I can appreciate our Vets even more.


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