Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Letter to the Editor: "An Unexpected Christmas Gift" | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, Georgia

This letter appeared as a letter to the editor of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer today, 4 January 2012:

Every year, Santa and the Conductor will
periodically stop by during our run of The
Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience
Saturday, Dec. 17, two grandmothers, one great-grandmother and five grandchildren dressed in their finest PJs (the children, not the grandmothers) arrived at the Infantry Museum promptly at 5 p.m. All were excited about the crafts, a visit with Santa and a viewing of “The Polar Express,” only to learn that we had arrived one day early. (As hard as we try, grandmothers are not perfect!)
As we stood in the lobby pondering what to do, what should appear but a wonderful “elf” disguised as an Infantry Museum volunteer. She gathered our entire little group and began a historical journey that all could understand. We traveled through time, stopped to have pictures made first in a tank and then in front of a lovely Christmas tree with packages underneath. Little ones learned of the thanks we owe our military past and present. Amazed at each scene, with amazing attention, they heard her every word. 
Upon completion of our “dream travel through time,” we left for dinner and returned at 6:30 for viewing of "The Polar Express." The sight of little ones in big glasses was something to behold, each reaching for a snowflake or a golden ticket as it appeared closer to their eyes. 
No crafts and only a close-up look at Santa’s chair and a wonderful view of history made understandable to a child’s mind by an elf … well, we could not have asked for a greater Christmas gift for our entire family. A ticket punched by a “real” conductor has become a cherished keepsake for each grandchild. 
The Infantry Museum is such a great gift for our entire community. And a special thanks to our special elf – it was not by accident that she appeared just for us!
Janet C. O’Neal 
Thank you for your kind words, Mrs. O'Neal, and thank you to all our dedicated volunteer staff who strive to make every visit memorable.

Start your new year right by donating your time and talents to the National Infantry Museum! To volunteer today, contact Lora Davis Warren: (706) 685-5810 |

The National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
1775 Legacy Way | Columbus, GA 31903 | 706.685.5800

p.s. (The "Infantry Museum Elf" has requested to remain anonymous, but visit the National Infantry 
Museum and you may get to experience your own personal adventure with her!)

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