By Paul Lara, Belvoir EagleNovember 8, 2019
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam paid a visit to the National Museum of the U.S. Army last Thursday, to see the progress of exhibits, scheduled to open June 4.
The governor was greeted by Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, commander of the Military District of Washington/Joint Force Headquarters-National Capitol Region, and retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is the president-elect of the Army Historical Foundation, and Tammy Call, Museum Director.
As they gathered outside the main entrance, Call explained the stainless steel walls of the museum represent the strength of the Army, and is very reflective in nature, transforming the character of the building through changing seasons. Call also pointed out the illuminated tower, which represents a beacon of safety and security.
The group entered the spacious lobby, dominated by a massive black marble wall, inscribed with every Army campaigns waged from the War of Independence to the present day, and those campaign streamers were etched into the wall, and in colored glass on the ceiling .
Governor Northam was impressed with the "Brats to Boots" presentation in the museum's Experiential Learning Center (ELC).
"I really like your display on families," said Northam. "I think that gets overlooked sometimes. When I was active duty we were overseas with two children, and that's a lot of moving parts."
The ELC provides a unique learning space dedicated to hands on G-STEM learning activities.
A major portion of the museum's exhibits examine the history of the Army through six different galleries: Founding the Nation; Preserving the Nation; Nation Overseas; Global War; Cold War; and Changing World. A seventh gallery focuses on the broad relationship between the Army and American society.
Jones noted the significance this museum will have when it opens. "I am excited, as a Soldier, and as the commanding general for the military district of Washington about what this place means for the Army. It's the first Army museum to bring history alive from 1775 to 2020. I think it's great for the Army to tell our story, and I think it's going to be a focal point for the American public to come here and connect to their Army. It's just a wonderful location, and Tammy's done a great job," he said.
In addition to the permanent displays, there are also rotating exhibits on the third floor, along with Call said she was delighted to give governor Northam a peek of what the public will see this summer.
"To have the governor here and was phenomenal. I mean, to know that we are maturing toward becoming that landmark destination point as the Army's national museum is just astounding."
For more information, see the NMUSA.org