On Wednesday, as Americans celebrated Veterans Day, the National Museum of the United States Army opened in Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia.
The Army is the only division of the US Armed Forces that still did not have its own national museum. Located 32 kilometers south of the Metropolitan District of Columbia, the museum displays the history of the country’s oldest military service, which was founded 245 years ago in 1775.
The collection of the museum, which occupies a five-story building, contains various historical exhibits, as well as thousands of documents, images, works of art and artifacts. These include, among others, the legendary Sherman tank used by the Americans during World War II, a helicopter during the Vietnam War, an armored personnel carrier that the US military used during the Iraq War in 2003, and a riding saddle used by American special forces. in the Afghan mountains in 2001.
Another exhibit shows how American troops stormed the beaches of Normandy during the Allied landings in World War II in 1944.
In the museum you can see old helmets, swords, as well as medals and watches found in the ruins of the Pentagon building destroyed on September 11, 2001.
While many of the exhibits are dedicated to the military history of the Army, the museum also has exhibits on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in which the US Army has participated around the world, museum director Tammy Call told Voice of America.
The main exhibit, titled Soldier Stories, reveals the individual soldier as part of the story, explains Call, herself an Army veteran: [экспозицию] very personal and thought provoking. “
“The National Army Museum will be a place where members of the entire Army family can gather and share their stories,” said Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army.
This makes a huge difference to B.J. Lawrence, executive director of the Office of Foreign War Veterans in Washington. Lawrence served as an Army sergeant in South Korea in the early 1980s.
In his opinion, the museum is “phenomenal” and, during a tour of the complex, “exhibits related to the Korean War” moved him very much. Lawrence explained that he is a supporter of the return of missing soldiers to their homeland.
According to BJ, the museum “tells us how important military service is to our country … It helps explain and understand why the American people have the opportunity to enjoy today’s democratic freedoms.”