Thanks for a moving post.
Happy Independence Day, everyone!
This is a discussion on Visiting Respect in DC within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So today I went downtown with my mom. DC. We saw some sites, but I hadn't seen the World War II memorial so I made ...
So today I went downtown with my mom. DC. We saw some sites, but I hadn't seen the World War II memorial so I made it a priority on our trip.
We saw the Spy Museum first and it was neat (reccomended!!!). My only other request was that we visit a few of the memorials. First stop was the World War II site. We walked up to the closest point and I leaned against the wall nearest the Arizona marker at the northeast corner.
I sat for a moment and gave some reverence to the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. There were a lot of people walking around taking photos. They were either happy or complaining about family members 'catching up.' People sat on areas that weren't benches and one woman in particular complained about how her husband was 'taking so long' while she sat on the stone emblazened with "CORREGIDOR." A lot of this visit angered me. Here we were, standing or sitting at the memorial to the 'Greatest Generation's loss and there were those who had the audacity to sit there and complain. Most of the DC Mall was being heavily patrolled and they were the same people who complained about one Metro stop being closed.... I.. am just at a loss for how sad it was.
One man in particular stuck out in my mind. He stood at the edge of the fountain and stared in silence. He wore the stereotypical "World War II" cap and just hunched over as he listened to the water move. Kids ran around him and screamed whatever came to mind. But still he stood there unflinching. I watched him for a few minutes from my lonely perch at the Arizona wall marker. Then, without any fanfare or company, he threw a salute, held it for a few moments and just walked away alone. I watched him disappear away to the East and he was gone. No one paid him any notice.
I walked silently around most of the memorial while countless tour groups snapped photos and couldn't wait to get to certain tours on their agendas (Sorry guys, but I don't do pictures at memorials). The qoutes on the walls made me reflect with pride while most just continued to shuffle on. But the memory of that man stuck with me. I stared at the wall bearing thousands of bronze stars and.. well.. It hits anyone hard. As long as they are willing to reflect. Most just pose and move along.
I continued West and visited the Vietnam Wall. I used to go there every year on Veteran's Day with another friend. We would don BDU's and combat boots and walk from the Capital Building to the Wall. My friend is in Iraq this year. So I visited alone and it was particularly striking... First year I had been back without him since 2002.
Flags line the path through that valiant corner of the world. I decided to take up a position about 100 yards away and I sat down to give honors in thought while my mother ventured off on her own. I hadn't quite expeceted to be so moved as I had in years past. Quite a few gentlemen moved past the wall, pausing for a few minutes at a section before moving on towards other destinations. Women, too. I wish I had been there in July 4ths passed.
It was my first trip to the memorials on the 3rd because DC is generally too crowded on the 4th.
I will never forget today. Ever.
That 80+ year old gentleman tossing a salute to the fountains while kids and other people ran by around him. No one paid him any notice. It was the single most sad and pride-enducing moment I have ever experienced.
God Bless this country and those who have served. Thank You.
Happy Birthday, America. We owe it to you all who stand guard. Overseas or at their home bases Stateside.
Thanks for a moving post.
Happy Independence Day, everyone!
I hope you have a second job writing for your town paper.
"[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
They are left in full possession of them."
Zacharia Johnson (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,25 June 1778)"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." ~Alexander Hamilton
'The assailant chooses the time, location and method of attack.
Since they are unlikely to let you know ahead of time when, where and how violent they're going to be, you should always be prepared.' - matiki
That monument - and all war monuments - were built for that 80-year old vet and for those like us who truly are thankful, respectful, and reverent about the sacrifice which the monument represents.
Go, remember, pay your respects to those who served & died.
It's NOT meant to be a 'tourist attraction' where kids can run, play, laugh and people can take so casually. No, it's meant for true introspective remembrance.
It's not about the caliber you carry, it's about how you USE it.
1988 DIE HARD 2008
Thanks for posting, SixBravo!
With your permission, I'd like to share this with my high school students when we get back in session. We have opportunities to discuss items like this.
Thank you for posting that. It moved me as well.
I have not been to the WWII memorial yet. But, as we will be in Norfolk VA next September for the crew member reunion of my first ship, the USS Wisconsin BB_64, we plan on going up to D.C. to see the monuments and especially the WWII memorial.
We will check out the spy museum on your recommendation as well.
Thank you again.
Did you visit the Korean war memorial? I think the memorial to the "forgotten war" is the most interesting of the three major war memorials on the mall.
It's unfortunate that D.C. is a "gun free zone" at least for now. If they can get that fixed I'd love to go see the sights but for now it's not worth it to me.
My thx also for a moving tribute and reflection.
Despite your mention of taking no pics ( can understand that), I will if I may, as I have done before again post ''reflections''.
Every time I see it, I am almost at the wall myself. My small tribute if you will, my own pause for thought.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
I visited DC just a few weeks ago... only the 2nd time I've been there and the first time I've seen the Korean War memorial and the World War 2 memorial. Had to take pictures to show the next generation (whenever it may happen) to never forget these men and women. Seeing these birds just bathing in the pool at the Korean War memorial, peaceful and pure, moved me.
Yeah I have! I was quite surprised to see how large those statues were. I was able to get out there in 1997 (I think) and haven't had an opportunity to get back though. It's very well done. I especially love the qoute on the wall. "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE"
I took my family to the DC Mall this past 4th week and was blown away...both in a good and bad way...and I am not even a US citizen (yet....working on it! ;) )
Good: the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of men and women to make sure USA stays free and provide us with the assurance that while they are on watch and guard, you and I can sleep peacefully knowing that they will not let anything happen to us under the blanket of their protection. I was in awe of all the memorials, but the WWII took my breath away. My prayers go out to all those served and continue to serve!
Bad: the level of disrespect displayed by people...surprisingly more of the offenders appeared to be younger generation Americans as opposed to the "touristy foreigners"! One example = WWII memorial... every 5ft, there is a sign posting something to the effect of "show respect by not getting in the water fountain/memorial" and what do I see... a father leading his wife and family to take of their shoes/socks/sandles and then proceeding into the water and walking around and splashing!!! BOILED MY BLOOD! This happened just minutes after I sat down my 3.5 and 2 year old sons and told them why we do NOT go in the water and not to run around screaming and/or shouting...only to have my 3.5 year old look up to me, as we pass this family, "why are they in the water?" pointing to them. "B/c they do not have manners, and are being very disrespectful!" loud enough for this offending family to hear me as I point to the sign they had shoved off aside so they could all sit in the water!!! Father looks up at me, looks at the sign and went about his business!!! I looked of for an officer or ranger to report this, but to no avail! Another indication of the sheep mob mentality our society has been stricken by; prior to this family getting in the water, NO ONE was doing it...within 10 min of this family getting in the water, there must have been at least 45-60 people w/ feet in the water, splashing, ...!!!! At that point, I looked over at my wife, who is on the verge of tears at this display, and took off! How sad that my 2 and 3.5 year old sons understand what respect and manners are, but not a grown ignorant adult/father who chooses to encourage the same level of ignorance in his kids!!! It is up to us to make sure we instill and forge these virtues into the character of our kids and the future of our great nation.
God Bless our servicemen/women!
The lack of respect some show at the memorials is absolutely disgusting.
I always tried to get down there first thing in the morning, before the idiots got out.
Sometimes, it worked out well:
I always wanted to get to the Korean memorial just after a light snowfall to get photographs. Never quiet worked out, alas.
Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.
Learning to shoot again : Starting Over