Post by: Mary Nail and Alex Bueneman
Day 3 at the Normandy Institute has been packed with education and adventure! We began the morning with two lectures on the Nazi regime and the process of recovering and identifying Missing in Action (MIA) U.S. troops. We learned of the Five Traits of Nazi Germany from Dr. Jeffrey Richter: racism, anti-Semitism, lack of concern towards death, power, and non-democratic. Mr. Joshua Fennell taught us about his job in the Department of Defense in investigating the remains of U.S. military personnel, specifically in France.
In the afternoon, we visited the National Archives to get our research cards in order to do heavy research on our Silent Heroes Wednesday. We then headed over to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where we had the opportunity to tour the “behind the scenes” of the Smithsonian’s collection in United States military history, which included Ulysses S. Grant’s 1839 US Military Academy coat and General George S. Patton’s coveralls. We found this tour especially interesting because we were able to view artifacts seen by very few people! We also toured the rest of the Museum of American History. Our favorite exhibit was the Price of Freedom, which showed the history of wars that America took part in and examined the ultimate sacrifice paid by those who served their country. This exhibit really illustrated what the Normandy Institute is all about: paying tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
We can’t wait to continue our adventures and research here in DC and in Normandy!