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The National Guard Museum offers a perfect place to visit this July 4th week

National Guardmen assistant citizens when needed
National Guardmen assistant citizens when needed
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Visitors coming into the District of Columbia for the July 4th celebration will be met with such an outpouring of welcome that it is often difficult to know which attraction to see. Journalists keep journals and your customer service reporter has a journal for each year going back to 1972. The first visit to the District of Columbia, as a journalist, took place in March 1980 as a Journalism Intern, for KOTV in Tulsa to cover the Windfall Profits Tax Protest. The recordings and journal notes from that assignment reflect the many people in the District of Columbia who assisted the reporter in covering that story 34 years ago.

The Metropolitan Police Department and Capitol Police were extremely helpful in giving directions as interviews on Capitol Hill and around the city required direction and information. After filing reports to Bob Losure and Ian Pearson there was time to visit the museums and other tourist attractions. The same wonder in visiting Washington 40 years ago still remains today. The memory of seeing the Capitol for the first time and taking taxi tours around the city still remains in the mind today.

In nearly 40 years the role of the National Guard Museum has not changed. The Guard still belongs to the people. Visit the National Guard Museum this Independence Day Week and you will see how important Citizen Soldiers are to the United States of America. The museum first started exhibiting artifacts in 1976. The customer service is excellent.

Ryan P. Trainor, MLS, Archivist and Museum Specialist, National Guard Memorial Library & Museum, said the artifacts are real from muskets used in the Revolutionary War to the military uniforms worn in Iraq. The initial displays at the National Guard Museum are carefully constructed to give visitors the look and feel of what our Citizen Soldiers experienced as they came to the aid of their fellow Americans in every major conflict to face our great nation.

The first stop will be an audio visual presentation that starts the tour and prepares the visitor for each audio led display. From tributes to Citizen Soldiers in the Revolutionary War to World War I and World War II the displays have actual artifacts from every conflict and also shows the role the National Guard has played in protecting Americans during natural disasters, civil unrest and domestic crisis as in September 11, 2001.

As all the attractions in the District of Columbia offer customers service the National Guard Museum is the best place to honor and remember Citizen Soldiers who were farmers and neighbors one day and members of a fighting force the next. The National Guard supports community based education and outreach unlike any other branch of the military. The National Guard offers community based assistance at both home and abroad.

“One point of clarification that I thought of was regarding the history of the building – I believe I said that we had acquired the building in 1959, but I wanted to clarify that there were two buildings. The first was constructed in 1958, which NGAUS acquired in 1959, and then there was a second building which was dedicated in 1991,” Trainor said.

The tour of the National Guard Museum takes each visitor on a tour and show National Guardsmen and women doing what they do every single day; serving their fellow citizens across the nation and the world. The Thomas Reno Collection is on display in the lower foyer of the museum and brilliantly tells the service of Pennsylvania National Guardsman Thomas D. Reno who served as a member of Company F, 111th Infantry, 28th (Keystone) Division during World War I. The collection came as a donation to the museum in 1982 from his daughter, Norma Reno Miller, and included his journal entries of his service. It is the largest single collection of objects that are devoted to one person in the museum.

Upon the completion of the tour of the National Guard Museum your customer service reporter walked back to the Union Station Metro Station within 10 minutes. The museum is located on One Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. It is on the corner of Massachusetts and North Capitol Streets across the street from the Post Office Museum. The Union Station Metro is the best transportation to the site. For visitors coming to the Nation's Capitol to celebrate the Fourth of July, the National Guard Museum is a great compliment to the history of how Americans won their independence.

The National Guard Memorial Museum is operated by the National Guard Educational Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, which depends on the philanthropic support of corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. The museum is closed on all federal holidays but it will be open on Monday June 30 until Thursday July 3rd, 2014. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. It is the only national museum dedicated to the history of the National Guard of the United States of America.

For more information on the National Guard Educational Foundation go to:

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