Thursday, June 12, 2008

Washington vacation - part 3

Today was cut short by some personal business I had to handle. This forced us back to our hotel by 12:30, but we spent the morning at Arlington Cemtery. We visited JFK's tomb and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Watching the changing of the guard was impressive. I sat there in the blazing sun (90+ degrees) and some humidity. Sweat rolling down my back. But the whole time, I was thinking, that guy has to be hotter than me. 21 paces. Turn to face the tomb. Pause for 21 seconds. Turn to go back. Pause for 21 seconds. 21 paces. Repeat. For thirty minutes. Then the changing of the guard.

The seargent came out and announced what was going on and asked for silence. The new guard came out. Inspection time. Now, I know it was inspected before he came out. But it was a thorough inspection. First of the arms. White glove test on the bayonet (all the time, the first guard still pacing, turning, pausing, repeat). Then inspection of the uniform. Very deliberate. All in all, lasted about 5 minutes.

Then visting the memorial to the Shuttles Challenger and Columbia and the troops killed in the failed Iranian rescue attempt.

I was reminded of the quote from Robert E. Lee "It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it.'

The afternoon was spent by the pool, me in the shade, her in the sun.

A very relaxing day

Funniest thing of the day: 1) the little girl who passed us on the way to the pool who said "Bye Randy" (I think she was talking to her brother and 2) Stopping at a Bestway grocery store for canned Pepsi and being the only English speaking people there.


Anonymous said...

Military services are impressive. My grandpa passed a few months ago, and he had a military service. Almost brought tears to my eyes with the honor they showed him.

Have a great weekend!

Brian the Red said...

When we visited Arlington in 2005 it was March and a couple days after 3" of snow fell. It was still present on the shady sides of the hills. We also watched the changing of the guard and our experience was the polar (pun intended) of yours, it was in the upper thirties and the wind was blowing around 20MPH.