2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My DC trip...paying tribute at our war memorials...

As you know, I was in DC this past weekend for my Great Aunt Elinor's memorial service.  I got a chance to take the family to downtown to take a walk around and see some of the monuments that we have in our nation's capital.  We only spent about 3 hours walking around but got a chance to show our daughter some of the  impressive sights in the city.
 

The wife, aka "household-6" and Moni in DC..

The White House. Really not much to see here, stuck our faces up to the fence and took a look at it from far away.   Monica thought it was cool to see it, me...meh.

The World War II Memorial.  This is what I really wanted to come down and see.  I reminded Moni that this is what the old veterans that we welcomed back at the airport one Sunday had come to seen.  Its a really striking memorial.  Basically as pool with fountains surrounded on 2 sides by a set of pillars and columns, one side for the Atlantic campaign and one side for the Pacific.  All US states and territories are listed on the columns.  The monument is huge, at least as big as a football field in the actual plaza and the grounds are even bigger.  It sits at one end of the Lincoln monument reflecting pool (obviously at the opposite end of the one that Abe inhabits).


Can't get this to post correctly, but you get the idea...


Its a BIG monument...

 A relieve in the wall (one of many) depicting scenes from the war...notice the M1!

 The reflecting pool, some people felt the need to use it to dip their feet in despite signs telling them to pleas stay out of the water, I told Monica that we would not be those people, in my book that is not respectful of those who fought and died in that war to use is so..

 One of the ends of the monument, this one dedicated to the Atlantic campaign..

 All US states and (at the time) territories are represented in the monument, this one if for you TZH!


 The scope and size of the monument is just magnificent...

Senator (retired) Bod Dole's contributions as a sponsor of the memorial are noted by a tree planted just off of the visitors center.  The center even has kiosks that you can input a name and find out if the person is listed as a veteran of the war.

 Representing the Buckeye state...

The Vietnam Memorial.  We also went and walked to the Vietnam memorial which is a "short" walk away from the WWII memorial.  I was really surprised (and proud) that Moni took the wall very seriously and was interested in the symbols next to each name.  She understood each name was for an American killed in the war (though I am sure the concept of the Vietnam conflict totally outside her 4th grade concept of history at this point) and that it was a somber place to be. According to a park guide there, there is a different symbol if the servicmember was returned and interred to the US or if they are MIA and presumed dead.  Due to partial normalization of relations between the US and Vietnam and DNA we are now able to conduct searches for our deceased and sometimes provide closure for families some 40 years later in many cases.  You can tell on the wall next to a name if the symbol was originally a MIA engraving and has later been changed to a confirmed status.

I got a chance to thank a Vietnam vet while there too.  I was walking towards the end of the wall and overheard this guy say to another guy in front of me something to the effect "we are starting to die off now and nobody will notice..." I excused my myself and interjected to them that that wasn't true.  That many of us would remember them and notice and thanked the man that identified him as a Vietnam vet and shook his hand.  I thanked him for putting up with the American ignorance of the time and for everything their service and sacrifice did to help those of us that came after.  I also told him that in my opinion many Vietnam vets had a very direct impact on the fact that those that are coming home now from Iraq and Afghanistan have access to medical and psychological care light years ahead of what was offered to him and his generation.  They guy got a little choked up and hugged me...yeah, I got a little misty too...

 The famous statue next to the wall..

OK, this pic issue is getting annoying....anyway, the wall is a lot longer than I remember...all the sadder considering it had to be to fit all of those names...

It still one of the more popular monuments in the city...

Moni at the wall...

People still continue to leave mementos at the wall...pictures of their family and brothers in arms...birthday cards for ages that were never reached...very moving...


Other sights:  Really didn't get to see too much other stuff than the war memorials and the Lincoln Memorial.  I wanted to go to the Korea Memorial but it was in the opposite direction of the way we were headed at the time and the family was starting to get tuckered out...we must have walked over 4 miles in the heat and humidity.  We did get to see a few other things though...

Headed out Moni saw this sign and thought that we might already be seeing stuff...

A World War I memorial to members of the 2nd Infantry Division...it sits right across the street from the area that the Washington Monument sits on...didn't see anybody else paying attention to it...pity, its actually pretty cool looking

An old Army DUWK (Duck) vehicle converted as a tour bus of the city...

Overall, it was a pretty good trip, even considering the circumstances behind it.  Looking forward to getting back up to speed with the blogging in the next day or so...

No comments: