Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Washongton Vacation - part 2

Today we toured the monuments and memorials. We slept a little later, but then we have no schedule so that was ok. The temperature was down at least 10 degrees from yesterday and lower humidity. It was pleasant this morning, livable this afternoon.

The Washington Monument was neat. A word to any prospective visitors, either plan your trip or be prepared NOT to go into the cool places. By the time we arrived, all tickets for the monument for the day were gone. You can order tickets (they are free) online or by phone, but you have to order a month in advance. No problems, I laid on the pavement beside it and took pictures (will upload on another day).

One man asked my wife if she could take a picture of him and someone with him (father? brother? friend? it didn't matter). She gladly did so, then when she was finished, I offered to take a picture of the three of them together. It took him a minute to realize I was joking. He took a picture of the two of us with the Lincoln Memorial in the background.

We also did the memorials. While at the WWII memorial, we actually saw Bob Dole. We have lots of pictures. What was most striking at the WWII memorial was the number of WWII veterans accompanied by their children, about my age. I spoke to one vet who served in the Army, 1942-1946. His job was loading the ships. I asked him if he had been in Seattle and he said yes. I told him my dad was there in late 1945 (post VJ day) and planted grass. Dad always said he had to cut that same grass when he came back through after his tour. The man laughed.

We then went to the Vietnam Memorial. I know one family that lost a son there. When I was about 10, he died. I remember the man crying at church. It always struck me. We found his name and took some pictures. I tried to help one lady get a "rubbing" off the wall. It was very high and even I couldn't reach it. Her husband and I offered for her to stand on our legs, we crooked our knees to give her a platform. Unfortunately, we weren't stable enough. Later we saw her with a park ranger and a ladder.

Next was the Lincoln Memorial. Then the Korean War memorial. Then we took a long walk the the FDR memorial. I remember one of the quotes on the wall talked about what he thought about war. It ended with "I hate war". After seeing all the memorials today and then seeing this quote, it really struck me. Of course, even though he hated war, FDR was the one who led us into WWII. Enough said about that. I want to remember the memorials and remember that quote. More on another day.

Finally, we went to the Jefferson Memorial. On the way back to the Metro station a lady coming out of the Dept of Treasury stopped us from going up the wrong way. We asked her the quickest way and after a momentary hesitation, she said we could just follow her. Once she headed to her car (or wherever) she gave us excellent directions to the station. I don't know what her job was, but she was very nice.

Strangest thing for today: The waitress at dinner. She had tattoos all over her forearms and had a pierced tongue, a pierced eyebrow, and a pierced lip/chin (looked painful). She also had a pen in her hair, I don't think it went through any skin (I hope not). She was a good waitress.


Brian the Red said...

One of my wife's childhood friends, when she became an empty-nester, decided to join the State Department. When she is between assignments in DC every couple years we visit her there.

We did the monument tour last April. Some of my photos can be found here:

While I didn't lie on my back to get a Washington Monument photo (cool idea and I may try it next time) I did sit on my butt at the base of the Lincoln Memorial steps to try and get a different perspective:

Randy said...

Great pics Brian. Looks like you had a good trip.

I'm still shooting film, so I'll wait until I return to upload the pictures. My wife has been averaging 300+ pictures a day (digital), I took very few at the beginning, tons, yesterday and today (Arlington Cemetery today).

Anonymous said...

When she is between assignments in DC every couple years we visit her there.

- Vietnam tour

- Vietnam Travel Tips