Face of Battle

The Face of Battle…………..like History, is Timeless.

Yesterday was the first 90 degree day in DC and I was hot, so spying the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum entrance, I knew it would offer an air-conditioned respite from the heat and humidity. Little did I know I would leave an hour later with a lump in my throat, thinking once again about the tremendous sacrifice of all Americans during war.
The Portrait Gallery has a new exhibit titled “The Face of Battle” since 9/11 and it documents literally that….the face of Americans during War. In this case, the War on Terror. As you enter each small room of work by an individual artist, there is a stanza on the wall about the “Why.” Why did the photographer or artist do what they did?
In all cases, their reasoning is exactly what we are doing with the Americans in Wartime Museum….for without preserving history in some form, how will future generations of American’s know what happened before them. The artist, thru their media, is capturing history. At the Americans in Wartime Museum, we are preserving and restoring history.
As I walked thru the exhibit, I was struck by the timeless nature of the faces. Male, female, black, white….it didn’t matter. They were all patriots, full of life, willing to sacrifice for the greater good. But the faces of battle……even tho all photos were post-9/11, the look in the faces of the 1000 yard stare (Tom Lea’s classic painting from WWII) was instantly recognizable.
If you are in DC, stop by this exhibit. If you can’t make it DC, help in other way….help us at the Americans in Wartime museum preserve history so that future Americans know our values and cherish our freedoms.
Shake the hand of a veteran, look in their face and remember history.
Michael

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