We spent considerable time in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum. But as cool as the Smithsonian is, I discovered a travesty about which I am compelled to write.
As much as I had looked forward to seeing the statues of Jefferson and Lincoln, the dinosaur fossils, and Apollo Lunar Module, and the Spirit of St. Louis, I looked forward to paying homage to another monument to American greatness, the model of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise used in the original Star Trek series.
We made our way through the Air & Space Museum, finding plenty to marvel at, even if my boys didn't quite get what they were seeing and my wife and sister-in-law are insufficiently appreciative of air and space technology.
But no Enterprise.
I remembered it being prominently displayed, and I had even checked the website to make sure it was still there. But I walked from one end to another on both floors, and nothing.
We had not gone downstairs in the gift shop--I didn't even see a stairway, and certainly no indication that such a majestic item was displayed there.
Evan and I went down to have a look, and sure enough, there it was, still stately, still dignified, still glorious, even if relegated to the far corner in the basement of the gift shop. The very model in that familiar grainy video, orbiting dozens planets of styrofoam and spray paint.
I hate running down the Smithsonian guys, because they are the awesome preservers of some of the awesomest of awesome air and space awesomeness. But this is like, I don't know, letting the Argo rot away in a garage or something.
I hope you will join me and let the Smithsonian curators know that the The U.S.S. Enterprise should be restored to a place of honor in the Air & Space Museum. If for some absurd reason this is not possible, then I would accept its movement to American History, so long as it is given the proper respect. (To make matters worse, I just noticed that they misspelled "starship" on the official website entry.)
You can let the Smithsonian know how you feel here. If need be, write your representative. Write President Obama, who once claimed to "believe in the final frontier." Write Shatner.
This injustice cannot stand.
What he said. There must be a far better resting place for the original Enterprise than the basement of a gift shop.