Washington D.C.

I made 3 trips to Washington D.C. from our hotel in Baltimore. Pam was only able to go with me one time because of her committments at her Sigma Theta Tau conference. So, it wasn't quite as fun as it could have been. I didn't take many pictures at all because they've all been taken a million times. Anyway, here are some that you've seen before.

Click on any picture for full size

 

Here's one of Abe Lincoln at his memorial. Since he's not very colorful and "blacks" and "whites" seem appropriate for him, I thought I would do a high contrast picture of him. Interesting tidbit - I was told they placed the memorial on the Mason - Dixon line so Abe could sit there forever to make sure the North and the South would never separate again.  
  As we were walking around the Tidal Basin, we saw two Marine helicopters land over near the White House. In a little while, they took off and headed near us. This is one going over the Jefferson Memorial. I was thinking that old Thomas was wondering how we got to this pitiful point in our history.

Sometimes, it seems to me that all of our great leaders came to us at the beginning.

 

 

Thomas Jefferson

 

Very close to Arlington is the Marine Iwo Jima Memorial. I took advantage of the nice sky and the wind and shadows for this picture. The flag is in a very similar position as it was when Joe Rosenthal snapped it on February 23, 1945.

Of the six men who raised the flag (5 Marines and one Navy corpsman), three were killed on Iwo Jima.

Actually, the photograph and the memorial are quite different.

 

Being from Houston, where we tear down any building that is over 75 years old, I was awestruck at looking at the White House. Sure, I'd seen it's picture many times, but looking at it and thinking of who had lived right there, inspired me. Even seeing the Treasury Building next to it, where Andrew Jackson had it built there so it would obstruct the view of the Capitol, because he hated Congress. So much history...  
 

The most sacred spot in our entire nation is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It contains the remains of an unidentified soldier from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. There will never be another internment there because DNA will identify all future deaths.

The tomb has been guarded 24/7/365 since the '30s, through snow, hurricanes, and all kinds of weather. The guards take an oath to never swear or drink alcohol for their entire lives, and have to maintain a 28" waist while they are guards.

I now know why I was not an honor guard when I was in the Army. I did do the 28" waist part. Hey, one out of three ain't too bad.

The VietNam Memorial is the most emotional site I have ever seen. You cannot imagine the impact it will have on you when you see the incredibly large number of names of dead soldiers inscribed on the walls. I choked up before I got to the center of it.

The picture here is of a young girl who just sat there the entire time I was there - looking at the relic of a soldier. His VietNam ribbons, Purple Heart, and some text were on display. I don't know if she was his granddaughter or not, but she obviously had some connection with him. I saw several middle aged (now approaching older age) people crying.

That war is not over yet.

 

If there was one reason for going to Washington, it was to see Arlington Cemetery. Initially dedicated as a burial spot for Union soldiers in the Civil War to get revenge on Robert E. Lee (since it was his home before the war), it has become a monument to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have given their lives for our country.

If I know anything of Lee, I know that he would be extremely pleased that his property had become hallowed ground for soldiers' resting places.

Nothing to add to this