Tanks at the National WWII Museum

Tanks at the WWII MuseumRhoda’s got a flat and I need a wrench to free her wheel, so Jack and I went looking for a hardware store.  I headed down to the bike shop ISO tools and maybe a present or two; A. is in the market for a bike, so I rang her up and told her to meet me there for some test riding.  As I rode in to the CBD, I noticed all these tanks and military vehicles parked around the National World War II museum on Magazine, along with people dressed as soldiers showing folks around.  The display was commemorating the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy.  I was struck by the sight because this town has certainly seen its share of military vehicles in the street.  I remember after we all came back from the Gustav evacuations; there were military vehicles and National Guard soldiers all over, especially in the CBD.  But that didn’t feel welcoming, or like a day at the museum, or an educational program.  That felt like being in a police state.  Yep, context matters.  Today it was a family-friendly affair, a chance for people to learn and remember, but usually when the tanks roll in, it’s a sign of complex layers of state and state-sanctioned violence.  I wonder how these two very different appearances of tanks are related, because they most surely are.

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