Last Wednesday, 09 September 2015, I was fortunate enough to be invited by the United States Naval Institute to the opening of the Warrior Writers exhibit at the US Naval Academy Museum. There was a very nice reception and I got to meet some interesting people, many I have only known through their writings, and others through their writings and FaceBook and Twitter. It was a great night.
The exhibit was opened with some comments from the director of the museum, LCDR Claude Berube. LCDR Berube has written a novel called The Aden Effect and it is a very good read. His second book, Syren's Song, is due out in November and is available for pre-order now. Both of these books are published by the US Naval Institute. LCDR Berube's comments were followed by a few words from the CEO of the Institute, Vice Admiral Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.). Admiral Jim Stavridis, USN (Ret.) closed the opening remarks with his own words about the purpose of the exhibit. Admiral Staviridis is a prolific writer himself and one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend his latest book, The Accidental Admiral.
As I talked to several people throughout the night, a common cause was evident among us all. The exhibit was not created to brag about all the Naval Institute has done; it was not created to attract new visitors, although I am sure it will; it was not created to simply fill empty space; no, the theme I heard repeatedly, and one I shared, was "if this encourages others to write, then it is well worth the effort and expense". The motto of the USNI is "Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."
The exhibit itself highlights important writing and events of each decade since the founding of the USNI. To reinforce this, the Naval Academy Museum has initiated a series of fourteen weekly podcasts; each podcast will focus on a single decade. The podcast can be found at iTunes.
One part of the exhibit that I particularly enjoyed was the display of some of the books published by the USNI. In the same display case were some of the pens on loan from Admiral Stavridis and a note saying how much he likes to write.
All in all, it was a great night; I talked to some wonderful people, saw a great exhibit, met some virtual friends in person, and was inspired. I am already thinking about a possible article for the Naval Institute Proceedings.