Millennium Park is a massive amusement park, museum, zoo and “living history” exhibit dedicated to the American people. Opened on July 4th, 2776, Millennium Park took eighteen years to complete and occupies the whole of Lincoln Island on Columbia IV. While entry is not legally barred, tickets to the park are notoriously expensive and many middle-class families can only afford to go once every decade.
The park was first envisioned by Samuel Ramirez, the wealthy CEO of Liberty Aerospace. As he neared the end of his life, the Earth native wanted to see a pristine version of his homeworld before he died and turn it into a resort for his adopted nation’s elite to enjoy. Ramirez hired hundreds of contractors to plan out his dream, which he romantically called Project Sapphire, and hired the Coalition’s SSA to acquire an Earth for this purpose. Fortunately for Ramirez, he died before the Conseil invasion of Earth and the failure of the SSA’s mission became a certainty. The plans for Project Sapphire stayed in Liberty Aerospace’s vaults until 2756, when the Supreme Director called for a “grand project to celebrate the thousand year American nation.” The nearly-bankrupt SSA reminded the Coalition government about Project Sapphire, which adopted the plan.
Many changes were made to the project, the most significant of which was scaling it down. While the Coalition had many Earths available to it, they were strip-mined or irradiated. Vacuity travel was still classified to all but the Coalition’s richest and most powerful, making the movement of private contractors to those Earths impossible; the Coalition government wasn’t going to pay the bill and use its own resources, especially as the Galactic War still consumed money and materiel. Remodeling an entire planet, private investment or no, was also far too expensive, and unlike Ramirez the Coalition and any potential investors had no particular attachment to Earth that justified such costs. Instead, it was decided that the mostly uninhabited swampland of Lincoln Island on Columbia IV would be converted. The island was large, about 150 thousand square miles; more than enough for what the Coalition’s new plan called for. Ground was first broken in 2758 and work continued non-stop until 2776. Many shortcuts were made along the way, such as canceling an interactive exhibit on the Alkaev engine and a section of resorts and beaches for rent by richer patrons. Advertising and propaganda for the park began appearing in 2760, promising an opening date of July 4, 2776, just in time for the 1000th Independence Day celebration.
Despite being extremely expensive, the Coalition government and the private corporations that invested heavily in Millennium Park are proud of their very profitable accomplishment. Even if a middle-class family can visit only once a decade, a year can net in several hundred billion dollars in profit. Plans to expand the park are already in motion, such as adding some of the canceled features of Project Sapphire. There has also been talk of a similar park based in other systems in the Coalition or Springfield Pact states.
Millennium Park is separated into three sections. The first, undoubtedly most famous section is an amusement park. Originally meant for children (who would no doubt beg their parents day and night for a visit), the park has grown to include rides for older audiences. Roller coasters, Ferris wheels and interactive holofilms dot this section. By far the most popular attraction is the grandiose, adrenaline-fueled and highly fictionalized Battle of Columbia Prime space combat ride, where visitors get to pilot a Lancaster 93 fighter in the Endless War’s largest space battle.
The second section is dedicated to the American military and American history. While there is some overlap with the amusement park section, the military section is far more serious in tone. Attractions are less interactive and many require that visitors keep quiet. Some are holofilms about the gallant sacrifice and the barbarity of America’s enemies, while others are museums filled with historical artifacts. The central feature of the military section is the Tomb of American Heroes, a massive graveyard filled with corpses from every single war the American people has fought, from the Revolution to the Galactic War. At the center is the mausoleum of George Washington, whose body had been saved by the fleeing American fleet during the Collapse. A solid gold statue of the Father of the American Nation stands atop the building, while inside a statue of Columbia (America’s national personification) weeps over the marble sarcophagus. A holographic movie plays constantly on screens within the mausoleum, showing scenes from every American war. The battle standards every enemy defeated by the United States, many of which originals, surrounds the mausoleum.
The third section of the park is dedicated to American ingenuity and the Coalition’s scientific advancements and industrial might. Here, everything from the workings of EMSEL rifles, fuel cells and the mighty Alkaev engine are demonstrated. There is even an interactive EMSEL demonstration that allows visitors to guide an EMSEL beam through a steel plate. There is also an exhibit on Vacuity travel (which was declassified in 2762), explaining the dangers of the void beyond and showing the fruits of these labors in the form of dinosaur and auszeiter exhibits. Visitors can see for themselves the different cultures of alternate Earths and see attractions of old Earth like the Great Pyramids of Giza that were meticulously transported to Lincoln Island piece by piece. But despite the popularity of these exhibits the most famous and extensive exhibit in the science section is the Alien Encounter safari. Taking up a large portion of the park, xeno environments are replicated as closely as possible, sometimes with the aid of gravity plates. There visitors can see xenos (both intelligent and unintelligent) in their native environment, from the virus-like phage to the aquatic seabrides.