Today started at 5:00am. We left so early that we missed breakfast at the hotel but did make it to the White House before 8:00am as dictated by the security people there. They seem to be much more serious about their job than when I was there forty-seven years ago. We were only allowed to go through some of the rooms on the first floor but did manage to see everything between the East Room and the West Room. Was it worth getting up so early? I am not sure yet; I guess so….
After the White House today was Memorial Day. No, I don’t mean like that one at the end of May but the one where we spent the day touring the Washington memorials. We managed to see just about all of them. I am including some pictures here. The new ones were the Korea and World War II memorials for me.
We visited the Vietnam memorial. I had been there before but had not been able to find the name of a good friend from college who was killed almost upon arrival there in late 1969. He left behind a new bride and a son who was born about seven months after his death! I didn’t think actually touching his name on that wall would affect me as it did. I was very choked up for a little while there. It just brought back a rush of memories.
Tomorrow we will visit Arlington Cemetery. That is a very somber place as it should be. I just get upset to see all the young lives that were extinguished because of all our wars. It seems like we have been battling different countries for my entire life. When will we ever get over our rush to war?
One change that is kind of depressing is that the reflection pool in the mall is now dry and full of various kinds of construction equipment. I’m not sure all they have planned for it but I don’t think there will be much of it left when they are done. There is still a lot of construction going on all over the city.
When we weren’t walking around memorials we were cruising around almost every street in the city at least twice. We couldn’t get close to the Capital as too much construction going on. Since I have been there twice before that was not important to me this time but I think some were upset about that.
I guess before I close for the night I need to do another evaluation of the tour bus vacation. It was good in some ways and not so good in others. I sure would have liked to spend more time in some of the places we briefly passed today. We closed the day with a visit to the Pentagon City shopping mall. I could have done without that completely. Maybe the best way to do this touring of such a loaded city as DC is to take a one day tour and then spend another day or two on your own to visit the places that peak your interest?
Tomorrow we spend most of the day in museums. Since they are all very close together we are on a “pick-your-own” museum. That is something I have to do as soon as I sign off here. I have a couple of destinations in mind but maybe one or two others will come to mind.
More on that tomorrow.