Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day! (Our trip to DC)

I hope you are all having a wonderful 4th of July Holiday.  This year is our first year back in the United States for this special day.  For the last 8 years we have celebrated Independence day with other American's serving and working Overseas on foreign soil.  It's hard to put into words the emotions I feel being back in our home country during this time.  To our children this country is not home yet.  I hope with time and exposure to this beautiful country that they will learn to love it as much as I do.  

We are so blessed to live close to our Nations Capitol and many National monuments and historical places.  I know that right now at such a young age our children probably won't understand the significance of everything we share with them. Hopefully in time they will understand the sacrifice and hope and perseverance behind all of these memorials. If anything it will give them memories that they can carry with them the rest of their lives. 

Here are a few pictures from our recent trip to DC.  I hope it will inspire you as much as it inspired me.  

The Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial. Beautiful waterfalls and quotes surround this first lady. The memorial is very thoughtful and inspirational just as she was. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt  Memorial. There were a lot of aspects to this memorial that I didn't even take pictures of.  There were more water falls, a line of statues from the depression.  This was my favorite part and Marina's of course because of his dog.  I liked this one because it focused not on the period he was a leader or the time but the man, his ideals and his dog.  

Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.  Very impressive and beautiful but not what I was expecting. Harsher and much more massive than I had anticipated.  I wonder if he would have found this an accurate representation. 

The National World War II Memorial. This memorial is in an oval and it kind of encompasses you when you walk in.  It's huge.  There is an Atlantic and Pacific pillar on each end with a giant pool in the middle with fountains.  The sound of the fountains is very loud but also kind of soothing.  It's something you really have to experience to appreciate. 

Always my personal favorite the Lincoln Memorial.  He's gigantic but in comparison to the rest of the pillars surrounding him he seems small and stead fast.  The detail in this sculpture always takes my breath away.  It's like he could get up at any moment to shake your hand. 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is not as fancy as the other memorials but it's impact is the greatest.  When you enter the wall seems to go on forever with lists of names etched on it's glassy surface.  What always brings tears to my eyes is the people that stop to find a name and the silence that always follows.  This monument is the most personal and touching.  

The Korean War Veterans Memorial.  Also one of my favorites.  I love it's design.  The smooth wall reflects the statues next to it and the people walking by.  Then when you look closer you see the faces etched in the surface like ghosts of those lost.

Arlington National Cemetery is overwhelming.  The cemetery is huge and they have a trolley that can take you through it for a tour.  We walked and the scale of it really hits you when you have to walk past the rows and rows of headstones.  It helps bring things into perspective I think.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is also an incredible thing to see.  Pictures can never do it justice.  The silence, the repetition of the guards steps and the path worn over the stone where they walk the same steps every hour of ever day. You can't help but feel a solemness sweep over you when you are there.    

The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame is also a place of reverence and silence. The flame is so small but so significant.  His wife is buried next to him.  He is only the second president to be buried in the national cemetery.  It was his wife Jackie who requested he be laid to rest there because she said "He belongs to the people".  

I think that's what makes DC such a wonderful place.  Everywhere you look there are reminders of the people that made this country what it is today and put our freedom and our interests above their own and sacrificed so much so we can live free.

~Happy 4th of July~ 

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