I’m not a weepy person. I don’t cry at the drop of a hat. My steeliness was thrown out the window as I watched the 9/11 film at the Newseum at the end of the summer.
I sat with my three children and husband while we watched a short movie chronicling what happened in New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania on that fateful day. Reporters, photographers, firefighters, and bystanders reported on what they saw, heard, experienced. The documentary was poignant, heartbreaking, and powerful to watch.
As I watched the movie, I teared up as I remembered how the world changed on 9/11 for my children and the world. My girls were 3 and 5 on 9/11. On our visit to the Newseum my girls — now 12 and 14 — learned about a day in their lives that they only vaguely remember.
The Newseum — a modern structure — is located in the heart of Washington, D.C. at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W. The Newseum is a stone’s throw from the U.S. Capitol, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art, and the Verizon Center. The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — blends five centuries of news history through high tech and hands-on exhibits
Our family had only 3 hours to see the Newseum as we needed to get home for our daughter’s high school volleyball practice. If you are on a tight schedule, I would suggest going to Level 6 to the Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace. The top level of the Newseum offers a spectacular view of the U.S. Capitol to your left and the museums on the National Mall.
On the way to the Newseum on the Metro from Shady Grove Station, I had my children read a local free paper as I wanted them to get in the mood for a museum of news. As we left the Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace we moved in to the display of Today’s Front Pages on the top level of the Newseum. Newspapers from almost all the 50 states and a large number of countries are changed each day. My teen who takes French was intrigued by the French language newspapers. The tween wanted to read a few Spanish languages papers. My son and his dad found any newspapers with stories about football and sports.
From the top level of the Newseum, we took the elevator to Level 4. Before we moved to the 9/11 Gallery we spoke to the children about how to be respectful while going through this exhibit. I was proud of how well my children looked, listened, but didn’t chatter while walking through the exhibit.
After the seriousness of the 9/11 exhibit, we took the kids to the Elvis exhibit. My son soaked up all things Elvis at the exhibit on how Elvis was portrayed in the media. We watched a movie on the history of Elvis as depicted in news clips, newspaper headlines, and TV shows. I had heard about, but never, seen the Ed Sullivan Show…Elvis’ shaking hips and all. Fascinating to see a clip that is legendary.
As our time at the Newseum drew to a close, we took the children to the Interactive Newsroom on the second level. I had heard from friends that their children loved this area. The exhibit area features about 30 monitors in booths. My son played a game where he had to be the reporter for a whodunnit on “Who let the animals out at the zoo?” Was it the clown? The ringmaster? Or the animal trainer? This cartoon allowed the children to answer questions to move the story forward
Coming to the Newseum via Metro…
- Take the Green or Yellow Line to the Archives/Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro Station.
- Take the Red Line to the Judiciary Square Metro Station.
- Take the Blue or Orange Line to the Smithsonian Metro Station.
Where should you stay while in DC? A few hotels near Capitol Hill:
- Mandarin Oriental Washington DC has a spa, fitness center, and two restaurants.
- The Washington Court Hotel features spacious rooms at a good value price.
- For families and those staying in DC longer than a day or two, check out the large suite-style rooms with pullout couches at the Residence Inn Washington DC.
Jill blogs at Musings from Me.