Teen Talk: Newseum brings history to life

For some high school students, school can be quite stressful. Any opportunity to take a break from the hectic schedules and long class periods always comes as a great relief.

That’s why when my Journalism class decided to take a trip to the Newseum in Washington, D.C., my classmates and I were ecstatic.
Most of us were just grateful to be missing school for the day and did not realize how inspiring this new-age museum would be.

The first exhibit we saw was the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery, which proved to be the most emotional and captivating part of the museum we were able to see. The gallery included snapshots from all around the world that captured not only joy and happiness, but also harsh suffering and pain.

Each of the iconic images told a unique story and together the pictures showcased the diversity of the worlds’ cultures. They showed hardship abroad and at home that seemed almost incomprehensible. It helped remind my classmates and me that the world is much larger than the small town we live in.

The next exhibit we went to was the 9/11 Gallery, which documented the tragic events surrounding that awful day in 2001.

The gallery honored the hard work of the journalists who were brave enough to give the country the information it so desperately needed. The exhibit gave us insight into this historic event that happened when we were too young to understand what was going on. It helped us realize the absolute horror that shook the nation and gave us a better appreciation of the first responders who risked their lives to save others.

One of the last stops of the day was the Berlin Wall Gallery, a simple yet fascinating exhibit featuring large slabs of the Berlin Wall. On the West Berlin side there was empowering graffiti while the East Berlin side was chillingly bare. The pieces showed that despite the oppressive nature of the wall, information and news were still able to penetrate it and eventually helped tear it down.

The Newseum features many deep, thought provoking exhibits like these and my classmates and I were all deeply touched by what we saw. The amount of artifacts the museum has collected is astounding and the interactive technology is unlike that of any other museum I have ever been to.
What we thought would simply be a much needed diversion from our school work actually turned out to be a meaningful experience that I am sure will remain with me for a long time to come.

Katherine Sublett is a junior at Eastern View High School, E-mail her at: amd7102@gmail.com