Yesterday, we toured two great museums in Washington D.C., the Newseum and the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Both were excellent, and I highly recommend both to anybody who has not visited them yet.
The bus picked us up at Cherry Hill Park and took us to the Metro station, where we rode the Green Line train into Washington. It was less than an hour from the time we got on the bus until we were walking on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Metro is fast and easy to use, the trains are very clean, and every line is color coded and keyed to free maps available everywhere to help you get around.
The Newseum is devoted to the history of news gathering and reporting, from the earliest town criers to the first printed handbills, the evolution of newspapers, television and radio, and new technology such as online news sources and blogging.
From the Newseum’s observation deck, we had a great view of the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Federal Trade Commission Building, as well as other Washington landmarks.
The museum’s seven floors of galleries include permanent and changing exhibits of major news stories, including several graffiti covered sections of the Berlin Wall, extensive video and print coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and studios where visitors can try their hand at broadcasting the news.
There is even a Bell news helicopter hanging from the ceiling!
The G-Men and Journalists exhibit includes such rare items as John Dillinger’s death mask, the Unabomber’s cabin, and the electric chair Lindberg baby kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann was executed in.
We spent several hours at the Newseum, and could have easily spent all day, but we still had more to see and do.
Our next stop was the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and it was one of the most moving experiences we have ever had. The Newseum was a bright and overall uplifting place, but nobody is smiling when they tour the Holocaust Museum, because there is nothing to smile about there. Frankly, it’s a really sad and depressing place. But everybody should see it, if for no other reason than to honor those who perished under Nazi rule, and to be sure that it never happens again.
Photography is not allowed in the museum, but they did allow me to download this photo of the gate museum visitors pass under, a cast taken from the original entrance to the Auschwitz death camp, inscribed with the ironic phrase Arbeit Macht Frei, German for Work Makes One Free.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Holocaust Museum, and we saw a lot of tears in the eyes of people seeing the horror that man can bring upon his own kind.
When the museum closed, we walked down to the World War II Memorial, which was still under construction during our last visit to Washington. My dad and several of my uncles served during that war, and one of my mother’s brother’s died fighting in North Africa, so I appreciate this memorial to their service and sacrifice.
It was a gray, cloudy day, but we managed to get a few decent photos of the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool.
It was a busy day, and by the time we rode the Metro and bus back to College Park, had dinner, and got back to our motorhome at Cherry Hill Park, there was just time to download our digital photos, write this blog post, and get ready for bed. Today we plan to do more sightseeing, gathering stories for the next issue of the Gypsy Journal.
Thought For The Day – Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.