March 9, 2010
If you’re interested in history or war or both, London’s Imperial War Museum is an educational experience for adults and children alike.
The collection boasts exceeding numbers of artifacts from the 20th century. The major exhibits feature World War I and World War II. Not only can one see letters, weapons, uniforms, and read about the tactics of the wars, but a unique trench experience is set up for those who want to walk through the model.
While the exhibits are large, they also wind their way in circles. It’s easy to get a bit turned around, miss something, or look at things backwards rather than forwards.
Following the world wars are smaller sections on the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and conflicts in the middle east. The most recent war highlighted in the Persian Gulf War, while even smaller exhibits highlight genocide and conflicts within the last few decades.
Some of the most ironic things about the museum is the British school children and teens touring around. While a light shined the words ‘Cold War’ on to a wall, a group of uniformed school girls took their picture below the sign; smiling in a line as if they were posing for a calendar. Around the corner at the Vietnam exhibit, a girl walked up to several TVs playing a montage of war and administrative footage to the music of Jimi Hendrix’s version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and said, “Why do we have the same thing playing on three screens, and very weird music playing?” She turned away from the display and went on giggling with her friends.