Monday, December 28, 2009

Domestic Tourism

 I spent the past two days wandering around the Mall--the area between the US Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.  The first day was spent at two of the Smithsonian Museums--American History and Air/Space with my daughter and my two Virginia-based nieces.  It reminded me of my trips last summer through Paris, Berlin and London.  While I was most impressed last summer, I must return to my old opinion--the US Capitol is most impressive.  It combines government buildings, interesting architecture, a fun selection of museums that educate and provide tourist attractions, and monuments/memorials.

A couple of quick reactions to a couple of things we experienced:
  1. There were several folks outside of the Museum of Natural History speaking through a bullhorn or its equivalent.  They were spouting religious dogma and blasting the Darwin exhibition at the Museum.  I didn't hear that much of what they were saying, but they were contending that we were all wrong, that Darwin didn't invent evolution.  This seemed like a strange thing to say since few would claim that he invented it, but rather came up with an explanation for evolution.
    1. They were probably cheesed by some of the exhibits saying such stuff like "evolution is a fact.
  2.  I was most amused by a quote engraved into the World War II memorial:

"We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throoughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other." George C. Marshall
What a wonderfully emblematic quote from the Army: overwhelming force!!  Only now are we realizing that less can be more, at least when it comes to counter-insurgency, but Marshall's quote here does suggest that the Army would have a hard time absorbing this.

Overall, an educational day on the Mall.

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