A visit to the National Museum of the Marine Corps
Washington, DC is known for its many monuments and the Smithsonian museums. A short (or long depending on traffic!) drive south on I-95 will bring you to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA. In my opinion, it is worth the drive. The building itself can be seen from the interstate and is very cool looking. According to the museum website, “the Museum’s soaring design evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima.” I agree.
Now that we’ve arrived, let’s go inside.
Inside the Museum
The center atrium (below those windows surrounding the spire) is flooded with light. Two large displays feature prominently and draw you in.
There is a motivational video playing every 15 minutes or so to get things started. Once you exit the theater, you will be ready to enter the exhibits. Making Marines will be on your right as you enter. Be sure to go through this exhibit. For some reason I thought we would circle back around to this in the end so we ended up not seeing this exhibit this time. (You can go back to see it but by the time we finished going through, we were tired and the kids were ready to leave so we didn’t go back.) Learn from our mistake!
Follow the history of the Marine Corps
The exhibits follow the Marines from the beginning, in the Revolutionary War, to the current day. A docent at the information desk told me that each mannequin at the museum is a model of an actual Marine.
This was just a small sampling of the museum. It is well put together – full of good information and engaging displays. Want even more sneak peeks of what you will find there? Check this photo album by Ron Cogswell. A virtual tour is also available on the museum website. I have been to a few different military museums around the country. This one offers a deluxe, comprehensive look at the US Marine Corps. Have I mentioned yet that I think you should visit, because you should!
Outside the museum
If the weather is nice, enjoy a walk through the gardens featuring several sculptures. Official events such as retirement or re-enlistment ceremonies are often held in the garden or inside in the central atrium.
Finally I will leave you with these words of truth…
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