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Breaking News: Shooting at DC Holocaust Museum

For those who haven't yet heard, there's been a shooting at the DC Holocaust Museum. Only two people injured, the shooter and a security guard.



It strikes me as odd to describe the Holocaust Museum as a "popular tourist attraction," as if it were Six Flags or something. The fine art of journalism just isn't what it used to be.
And yet, it is a popular tourist attraction. I think it still attracts more tourists each year than almost any other site in DC.
While this is strictly true, I would feel more comfortable if we had different words to describe it. "Popular tourist attraction" makes it sound like people go there for entertainment, for fun, and that thought gives me a vaguely queasy feeling, because my inner cynic suspects that -- in some cases -- this might be an accurate description.

We (Americans, in particular) tend to make everything into a spectacle for our enjoyment, for our personal shock value, even really horrible things like 9/11 and Katrina. I think we need to start using language that discourages this practice. Treating other people's suffering as entertainment is one of the vilest things I can think of.
What other term would you suggest for it? I admit that I'm scratching my head trying to think of a term that clearly states that a lot of people from outside DC go to the museum every day.

I've been to the museum once (actually, Lori Taylor got us tickets for that visit). It was a very powerful and moving experience, also sobering and depressing. I don't think anyone would confuse it with entertainment.

The problem is, I don't think there is an alternate term for what you're looking for. Either that or we need to redefine what the phrase "popular tourist attraction" means (which is, of course, an uphill battle).
What other term would you suggest for it?

If I come up with something brilliant, I'll let you know ;-)
Your use of the word "only" bothers me for some reason. I know that you probably mean to indicate relief that more harm did not occur, but I feel that somehow it diminishes the fact that harm did occur at all.

Of course, I might be a touch sensitive at the moment, as I work in a national law enforcement building only 5 blocks from the museum, and have just been insulted by a co-worker on an entirely unrelated subject...

BTW, I think flying or broken glass injured a third person.
I meant "only" mostly to reassure friends of mine worried about school children from our area. It is not in any way meant to diminish the tragedy and horror of what happened.
And now it's been reported that the security guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, has died.

May his soul be bound up with the Eternal.

December 2016

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