Margaret and I started our day by walking to Lake Accotink and geocaching in the surrounding park. It was Margaret’s first time caching and we found one Earthcache. We finished caching and returned home where we were greeted by the delicious smell of frying bacon. Pete was cooking breakfast. I could get used to mornings like this!!! (Mona says not to get my hopes up.)
Our first stop of the day was the Pentagon Memorial which was built to memorialize and honor the 184 victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on 911. At the memorial, there is a bench for each victim with their name inscribed on it, along with the names of family members who also died in the attack, forever binding the family together. The benches are organized by the victim’s birthdates; from the youngest, three year old Dan Falkenburg, to the oldest, 71 year-old John Yamnicky. Each bench is positioned so that you can tell if they were on Flight 77 or in the Pentagon.
As with the Flight 93 Memorial, this visit brings back many memories of that horrendous day. This particular spot has special significance for us because Mona’s brother, Monte, was in the Pentagon on 911 and it was hours before we found out that he was safe.
Visiting these memorials bring tears to your eyes as you have “personal” contact with the victims and their families. I think it’s important that we visit these sites, to honor those gave their lives for others, to memorialize those who were victims and to remember that our way of life comes at a cost…a cost much more precious than gold or silver. We will never forget.
|Air Force Memorial|
After the memorial, we crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge and then drove around D.C. to view some of the city’s sights. As usual or a weekend, there were thousands and thousands of people in the parks, at the memorials and on the sidewalks.
Our drive took us by the Lincoln Memorial and then by the Washington Monument (I saw it first!). Then we took a drive around Rock Creek Park and the Tidal Basin. (Not a single cherry blossom yet again!)
|My pic: See the Secret Service Agents?|
Our next stop was The W Hotel, formerly the Hotel Washington. We’ve been coming here for years to enjoy the view from the rooftop restaurant. From this vantage point you can look down at the White House where you see Secret Service agents on the roof. Sometimes they have submachine guns; today they had spotters’ scopes and were scanning the area.
I took my usual picture of the agents using all the zoom I had and you can barely see them. However, Pete had his “spy” camera with him and his picture showed a little more detail….just a little.
|His pic: Can you see them now?|
After lunch, we headed back through D.C., weaving our way through the traffic and crowds. Along the way, we passed by Indiana Street and the courthouse where Mona and I were married. This brought back lots of memorials of that hot hot HOT day in our limo with no air conditioning, the driver who knew nothing about D.C., and the bottle of champagne that erupted in the car, covering us all with totally unwelcome stickiness…that went so well with the 115 degree heat. Good times!
We made our way across D.C. and on to the Chesapeake Bay where Margaret and Pete’s sailboat, the Sh’boom!, is moored. No cruise this time, but we had a good time sharing stories and relaxing.
Finally, we headed back to Springfield and ended up atKilroy’s for dinner. This local eatery was named to honor the dock worker who created the famous expression, “Kilroy Was Here”. He was a rivet inspector for WWII boats and he marked his inspections with those famous three words. The words were supposed to be painted over, but they were in such a hurry to get the ships out that they skipped painting the riveted beams. GIs saw the phrase, liked it, and started writing it everywhere they went; eventually spreading the phrase around the world! And now, you know… the rest of the story!
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!