A day in the life of…
a work camping wife, mom, and gramma on a family vacation… continued ( and finished)
This will be the last post in this “series” since we’re back to work camping and looking forward to planning another family trip sometime. Actually, next time we’re hoping our sons and their wives make the plans. I do want to post a few more pictures from the Washington DC area and talk a little more about the visit.
The first two pictures here are from the Korean War Memorial. Even though all the memorials are impressive, to me, this is the most impressive memorials one.
This memorial is actually called The Korean War Veterans Memorial. It’s near the Lincoln Memorial and wasn’t dedicated until July of 1995. 36,574 Americans died in this war that lasted from June 1950 to July 1953. Over 103,000 were wounded. There are 19 stainless steel 7-foot tall statues representing an advance party made up of 14 Army, 3 Marine, 1 Navy and 1 Air Force members. They’re standing in some bushes that are to symbolize the Korean rice paddies. When you look at them you can see they are wearing ponchos that partially cover them and their weapons and gear. As you walk around the statues, it’s almost an eerie feeling when you notice, there is not a place you can walk by that at least one of them is looking at you.
Beside the field of statues is a wall. This wall is made up of pictures collected from the National Archives of faces of troops from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. If you look closely, you’ll see there is also a picture of a dog on this wall. The wall is made of black granite. Because of this it is very reflective and makes it appear that there are 38 statues which represents the 38th parallel and the 38 months the war lasted. And, if you look at the wall from a distance, it also looks like it is reflecting the mountains of Korea. The 38th parallel is the dividing line between North and South Korea and was a major issue in this war.
On the other side of the statues is a walkway on which are engraved markers that list the 22 nations that contributed troops to the United Nations efforts in the Korean War.
A Pool of Remembrance is also located there and memorializes those KIA (Killed in Action), WIA (Wounded in Action), MIA (Missing in Action), and POW (Prisoners of War).
Because of time and space and the fact that details about all the memorials can be found online, I’m going to post the pictures and briefly tell about some of the other memorials we visited.
This, of course, is a nighttime picture of the Washington Monument. When I was young, my father was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington DC and I was able to visit DC a few times while he was stationed there. On one of the visits to DC, we got to climb the steps inside to the top of the monument and look out the windows. I don’t remember exactly now how many steps there were, but there were a lot. People on the way down gave us encouragement on the number remaining that we had to climb. On the walls, inside the monument are historic murals and carvings. Apparently, through the years, some people decided what they had to paint on the walls or carving their initials into these displays was much more important than saving these historic treasures and the public was no longer allowed to climb the stairs. Years later my family was able to visit DC when our kids were young and we were able to ride the elevator to the top of the monument and look out the windows. Since then, we’ve been to DC a few more times, and due to some sort of construction or repairs, we’ve not been able to get inside. This last time, we couldn’t even get real close. If you do get to see the monument close up, you will notice that so far up there is a difference in color. This is because construction was temporarily stopped during the civil war period.
These two pictures are from the Lincoln Memorial. There are lots of steps to climb in the front of the memorial and you get a beautiful view from there. This monument is on one end of the Reflecting Pool and you can see several others from there. If you cannot climb the steps, there is a lower entrance where you can go in and take an elevator ( which happened to be out of service when we were there ). You can also visit the restrooms there and see a few displays. It took me several visits to notice this lower level as well as the gift shop on the upper level. You can google the Lincoln Memorial for more historical information about the monument as well as information on the typographical error in the writing on one of the walls. No spoiler here. You’ll have to find it for yourself.
It was hard to get a good picture of the Capital Building. This is one that we took. This was the first time, I was aware that they offered guided tours of the Capital. The tour lasts about an hour and includes a short visit. It is worth the time to do this. But… as most of us do, we carry a backpack or bag of some sort when we plan on spending the day in DC with drinks and snacks. You cannot take any food or drink into the Capital building. So if you want to visit it, be prepared for that. Also, although you do not HAVE to have a reservation it’s better if you do. They only take people without reservations after those with reservations get in. It’s even better if you know you are going to DC to contact your congressman and ask for a visitor pass. That will get you in areas not included in the tour.
These two pictures are the Vietnam Memorials. Most everyone has heard about or seen pictures of the wall. And many, unfortunately, know of someone whose name is on the wall. The nearby statue, known as the Three Soldiers or Three Servicemen was designed to complement the wall by depicting warriors from that war.
Something you may not know about the Vietnam Wall is that it originally contained names of 57,939 American servicemen believed to have died during that war. But, names are still being added to that wall and in 2012 it was up to 58,282. The increase is due to those who have died since the war due to illnesses or wounds sustained during the war. Of course, certain criteria has to be met for this to happen. There are also some survivor names on the wall that were chiseled in in error.
I think this is enough about DC, but I do want to encourage those of you who read this to visit our nation’s capital. There is so much to see and do and almost everything you would want to see is available at no cost.
Well, we’re back to work camping for a while now so the next post will be about my new adventures and learning experiences working in Activities. Take Care.