Saturday, July 23, 2011

Washington, D.C. (day four)

Tuesday was spent touring Arlington Cemetery and quite a few monuments/memorials. Arlington Cemetery was the attraction that made the biggest impact on me when I first visited D.C. It fills me with a reverence and awe every time I am there. It also fills me with a profound gratitude for all those who serve our country and protect our freedom.

We watched the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Eternal Flame at Pres. Kennedy's gravesite. I have read several books on the Kennedy assassination and have been to the grassy knoll and the 6th floor book depository (now a museum) in Dallas.
The Marine Memorial - raising the flag on Iwo Jima. At this point we had to drop off Brakston at the airport so he could attempt to fly home. We left him and toured more memorials. Unfortunately, he didn't get on a flight until 5:30 pm so he could have stayed with us. I love the effect on my budget of flying standby but it definitely has its disadvantages as well.

My all-time favorite memorial is the FDR one. It is immense. I love the water aspect and the fact that it tells the story of his terms in office (statues of war, bread lines during the depression, etc).
Thomas Jefferson
We even caught a glimpse of the newest memorial - The Martin Luther King one. It is not completed yet so you can only see it from across the Tidal Basin but it looks like it will be a good one. My camera doesn't zoom in enough to do it justice. It is a rock broken in half with a MLK emerging from the chasm.
We managed to meet up with my cousin for dinner that night. He is a foreign service agent and was in D.C. between assignments. He just returned from 2 years in Cuba and now will be heading to South Africa for 3 years. It was fun to catch up with him.

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