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Museum Of The American Revolution Officially Opens

By Tim Jimenez, Greg Argos and David Spunt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Museum of the American Revolution had its grand opening Wednesday in the city where it all began.

It feels like the Fourth in the historic district.

There was an interfaith service and wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution in Washington Square Park. Then, a ceremony, an ode to the original 13 colonies at Independence Hall.

Fitting celebrations for the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, says President and CEO Michael Quinn.

"We really make Philadelphia the most exciting destination for anyone who wants to explore the miracle of how this nation came into being."

After more than a decade of planning, VP of collections and exhibitions Scott Stephenson says the museum opens at the perfect time, on the perfect date.

"242 years ago today, the first shots fired that started the Revolutionary War," said Stephenson.

Vice President Joe Biden and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf attended the grand opening.

"To paraphrase Emerson's poem, what did the people hear when they heard that shot heard round the world? What was it that they heard? What was this experiment about? Was it just about independence? I think it was about an idea, how to give life to a renaissance idea that a country that is actually governed by its people," said Biden.

After the ribbon cutting, Biden, Wolf and former Governor Ed Rendell toured the museum. Rendell is a founding member of the museum.

"There is a Barry Manilow song," said Rendell.

"[It's called] 'Looks like we made it.' That's what I feel like today. Fourteen years ago when I first got involved in the project, I wasn't really sure I'd ever see this day. It's miraculous and what it means for this city but more importantly what it is going to mean for this country," he continued.

Rendell was with Biden as they toured the marquee exhibit, George Washington's actual war tent.

"What are your thoughts about it, sir?" asked CBS3's Greg Argos.

"It's incredible," responded Biden. "I thought I knew about the Revolution. What I didn't understand is some of the detail that there is in Washington's tent."

Historian and Pulitzer prize-winning author David McCullough was also on hand and spoke to Eyewitness News before the ceremony.

"I think that this opening of this magnificent new museum is a major event for our country," said McCullough.

McCullough has been around the world studying and writing about history, but he says this city, and now this museum will always keep him coming back.

"Every parent in our country, if possible, if it's possible, should bring their young children here to this city. Here to this museum," said McCullough.

To purchase tickets to the museum, click here.

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