Sunday I was up very early, lot's to see, lot's to do.
After clearing out of my room I checked my bags with the concierge. I went and got my carnations, my yuppie vanilla chai tea and with those in hand, I headed out. I put my carnations on the stone pillar for Massachusetts in remembrance of my grandfather's brother Dan who was killed on Iwo Jima. I went across to the opening, sat on the stone wall and thought about Dan who I never knew and my grandfather's other brothers who served, Tim, Tom, Joe, John, George and Jim. I knew them all except for Dan and Jim. Jim died in the Coconut Grove fire. My grandfather was turned down because of his age and his children. Although I guess he got as far as having a going away party before they decided not to let him go. My Aunt Helen's husband Bill served in the Pacific and I have very fond memories of him. None of them really talked about their service except in terms of places they had been. To hear them tell it, it was like a world tour. No specifics. I remember as a little girl my Uncle Joe telling me the he went to Lourdes, my Uncle Tim telling me that he was in Australia..........never a word about battle.
Can you guess the next stop for the Townie girl? Many sights in D.C. moved me......The White House, The Capitol, The Lincoln Memorial, the various war memorials. But there was one place that was almost unbearable. When I got there, I had to stand off to the side, facing away, composing myself, steeling myself.......
Then it was up over to Bobby's grave.
Another powerful moment for me was crossing the Memorial Bridge. This one caught me off guard. I was prepared for how I would feel about some of the other places I was going. But as I walked that bridge and realized it was part of the funeral procession.............
Next I hit the Holocaust Museum and the Smithsonian's Museum of American History. From there I was hijacked and taken to lunch. I tried to see the Navy Museum (I'm a Navy girl, doncha know), but it was closed on Sunday.
I want to go back. There was lots more to see.