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National Infantry Museum Tops List Of Best Free Museums In America
It’s official: The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center was declared the No. 1 “Best Free Museum” in America on Friday after a four-week vote among 20 of the top museums across the U.S. The final list includes the Top 10 of the bunch.
“Victory is sweet” will be the theme of a special celebration by the museum to thank all of those who supported and voted for it during the online competition, said the facility’s communications director Cyndy Cerbin.
“We just haven’t firmed it up yet. We didn’t want to pull too many triggers until we knew for sure,” she said. “But we’re planning a community thank you probably for Friday of next week ... We’ll have cake for everybody. Beyond that, we’re working on bands and cheerleaders and fun stuff like that. I haven’t booked any of it yet.”
The USA 10 Best Readers’ Choice honor for the Columbus museum, which opened in 2009 at a cost of $110 million, followed a tense competition between the National Infantry Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio. The Cleveland facility was a “close runner up,” the Readers’ Choice site said. Both already are listed as the No. 1 attractions in their respective city’s by online site TripAdvisor.
The 190,000-square-foot National Infantry Museum climbed from No. 6 in the vote about a week into the contest to No. 1, before the Cleveland attraction overtook it about a week later. The online balloting continued until noon Monday, with a last-minute vote for the Columbus facility indicating it was “1 out of 20” in the rankings. But the results were not released until noon Friday.
“I can’t get over how passionate our visitors have been about making sure we won this award,” said National Infantry Museum Foundation President Greg Camp, a retired U.S. Army colonel. “They were excited to tell us that they were voting every day and they made sure their friends voted, too. We can’t thank everybody enough for their support and enthusiasm. This is a real feather in the cap for Columbus, the region, and the entire state of Georgia.”
Cerbin said the top museum feat will be a source of pride for the staff and the more than 300,000 annual visitors who walk through its doors and on its grounds. But it also will be an impetus for marketing to boost attendance and for Camp to seek out sponsorships to pay off the remaining debt connected to its construction — which is just under $8.7 million — and help with future operating expenses. The museum also expects to be featured in USA Today’s online and print travel sections.
“We just finished the content for a sponsorship packet that we will be taking to potential sponsors,” she said. “We’ll include the badge that says the National Infantry Museum is the number one free museum in that packet, which means sponsors now will have the opportunity to realize that this museum is bigger than they may have realized.”
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center features several exhibits and halls of honor chronicling various conflicts and campaign exploits through the military’s 240-year history. A World War II Company Street and Vietnam Memorial Plaza both honor moments in time, while the museum’s signature attraction, called “The Last 100 Yards,” focuses on the fact that it often takes infantry soldiers — boots on the ground — to claim the final piece of earth in a firefight or battle. The facility also includes a giant-screen theater and restaurant.
“Having a 10 Best endorsement will give travelers one more reason to discover for themselves how the NIM honors soldiers and the sacrifices they make preserving our freedom,” Carmen Cavezza, chairman and chief executive officer of the National Infantry Foundation, said as the competition kicked off in early August. Cavezza also is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, former Fort Benning commander and former Columbus city manager.
Here are the Top 10 Best Free Museums in America
- National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus, Ga.
- Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio
- National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
- Saint Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, Mo.
- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.
- Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.
- Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Wash.
- Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minneapolis, Minn.
- The Museum at FIT in New York, N.Y.
- American Computer & Robotics Museum in Bozeman, Mont.
Here are the other museums nominated for the competition — Baltimore Museum of Art, The Broad, The Getty Center, The Menil Collection, National Museum of Mexican Art, San Francisco Cable Car Museum, Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, USS Constitution Museum and The Walters Art Museum.
© 2016 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.