But as visitors thronged the Newseum in downtown Washington on its final day Tuesday, few seemed to notice the small gray plaque in the floor on the third level. Beneath it rest remains of four news photographers killed in 1971 when their helicopter was shot down during the Vietnam War.
The stainless steel reliquary with trace remains of Larry Burrows, Henri Huet, Kent Potter and Keisaburo Shimamoto has been at the heart of the Newseum and its memorial to fallen journalists since it was dedicated in 2008.
Burrows, 44, of Life magazine; Huet, 43, of the Associated Press; Potter, 23, of United Press International; and Shimamoto, 34, of Newsweek were aboard a South Vietnamese helicopter that was downed Feb. 10, 1971, during an incursion into Laos.
The Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue was to be their last resting place. But like everything else in the glittering shrine to the news business, down the street from the Capitol, they also must go.
That includes the huge antenna from the World Trade Center, which was destroyed Sept. 11, 2001; the hunks of the Berlin Wall, which came down in 1989; and the Watergate door, tied to the break-in that eventually forced President Richard M. Nixon to resign in 1974.
“Everything goes,” said Sonya Gavankar, a Newseum spokeswoman and 20-year veteran of the facility.