Yesterday, thanks to Col. Joe Long, (USMC, Ret.) a few of us had a pre-opening tour of the new National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico Marine Base. Scheduled to open to the public on 10 November (the Marines’ Birthday, natch) it’s everything you could hope it to be. Exciting, awesome, and focused around the most effective weapon this country has ever had: the Marine infantryman. You’ll be able to climb through the fuselage of a helicopter and onto a hill in Vietnam, “ride” a Higgins boat onto the beach at Iwo Jima and see and hear the recollecions of many who fought in those and other battles.
There’s a huge central atrium, from the ceiling of which hang Marine aircraft. All around are galleries — some of which have interactive and special effects — on the conflicts the Marines have fought, from the halls of Montezuma to the streets of Fallujah. Thousands of artifacts will hang from the walls, along with artwork, weapons and explanations of the history of the United States as seen by those who have fought for it. Above the galleries will be two restaurants (including one named Tunn’s Tavern, after the place this rough bunch was first recruited in 1775 Philadelphia). Too bad we have to wait ’til November for the full effect. It’s gonna be a great experience for the whole family.