So many in the naval community have been inside the auditorium in Annapolis' Mahan Hall - certainly every Midshipman who's ever attended the Naval Academy has nodded off there during a presentation or two. But few that I've spoken to even remember giving so much as a passing thought to the decorative cases that line the actual auditorium, and the corridors around it. After all, the contents are faded, shabby, and for all intents and purposes trapped for the foreseeable future beneath thick plate glass that was installed to seal the cases as the building was constructed around them.
Lurking inside those oft forgotten veritable glass dungeons are precious and irreplaceable artifacts - spoils of war once heralded at mastheads and paraded triumphantly through American streets accompanied by cheers. In this year and during the next few, they may warrant an occasional glance, and perhaps a few sparks of recognition.