Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hallowed Ground

Because of the glaciers attacking Washington, I got two extra days in Londontown. The weather was dog crap, as usual this time of year over there, so I decided to stay indoors. But not at the hotel. I took the “Tube” to the RAF museum. Admission was free. What do you think the first plane is that you see when you walk in?

SPITFIRE, you shout with absolute certainty. Wrong. Hawker Hurricane? Nope. Sea Fury? Nah. Oh yeah! You know, the Lancaster bomber! Wrong again. You're scratching your head. Hmm. What other plane would the Brits likely put on display at the front entrance to the RAF Museum? Click on the museum.
Can you believe it? I can. In fact, the Brits revere all the allied planes that defended them and took the fight to the enemy.
The letters “RAF” carry an aura in the UK that USAF and USN don't back here in the states. They love their RAF and hold its members in lofty regard. I felt humbled just to amble through that magnificent museum filled with awesome planes, some beautiful, some ugly, that defended freedom and etched their place in history.

The museum was quiet the day I was there. Not many visitors on a rainy mid-week day. Good. The silence helped me hear their voices reading their checklists, and feel their presence in the shadows, checking their gear, pre-flighting their planes.

As awesome as this museum is, it's what you don't see that compels you to know you're among greatness.

More pics of the museum? Click on the Spit.