Memorial Day activities in and around Macon include all the usual beginning of summer activities, but those looking for a more fitting way to spend the day can take a day trip to the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia. The museum, on the grounds of Fort Benning, honors America’s soldiers and tells their stories through spectacular multimedia exhibitions.
The Army is the oldest and largest branch of America’s military. Infantrymen are specially-trained soldiers whose mission is to engage the enemy in combat and defense. The men and women of the infantry are truly at the front line of war and have been since the earliest days of American history. The museum’s mission is to preserve the legacy of the infantry and its role in protecting the nation.
The museum covers three floors, including an IMAX® theatre, gift shop, restaurant, and exhibits that pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipients as well as halls dedicated to specific eras, such as World War I and II. And, there is a rifle range simulator in which participants can test whether or not they qualify for entrance into the infantry.
Probably the most awe-inspiring exhibit, though, is the “Last 100 Yards,” which takes visitors on a soldier’s journey of the final 100 yards of historical battles. The exhibit features video footage, actual military vehicles, and artifacts donated by soldiers and historians. The exhibit ends in the Fort Benning Gallery, which documents the Army’s near 100-year relationship with the Columbus area.
The National Infantry Museum is open daily, with extended hours when special exhibits or events are taking place. The museum’s Fife and Drum restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Visit the museum’s website for specific information, current exhibit schedule, and details about the National Infantry Foundation, a non-profit which operates the museum.