A glutton for punishment

During my trip to Virginia, I knew I wanted to get up to DC to take in a few sights. Logan was nice enough to oblige and drive up there with me and hang out for a few days to show me around.

There are a TON of things to see and do up there, but I knew we’d only have a few days and I didn’t want to make the whole thing a mad dash, so I chose a few things to see. The Holocaust Museum, The Vietnam Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. You know, all the happy stuff.

So we headed up one morning to DC to go to The Holocaust Museum. Now, the first chunk and last chunk of the main exhibit is, honestly, a tad boring. It’s all the politics and whatnot that lead to WWII and such. Not terribly enthralling, in my opinion. But the middle chunk will tear your heart out.

There comes a point where you have no choice but to walk through a cattle car used to transport Jews to concentration camps over the very track that car ran over. All original stuff. I got mid-way through that cattle car and teared up thinking about 100 people crammed inside headed to certain death. For the next 30 minutes, it only gets worse as you walk through a room of shoes taken from the concentration camp prisoners, and past photos of piles of their hair shorn off, and watch very graphic video footage taken by the allied forces after liberating several camps. Yeah. Intense stuff. And so, so, so important to witness. I did my best to watch all of the video footage as a way to pay homage, but it just got to be too much at a certain point.

Then we drove to Baltimore to stay the night near the Inner Harbor. Why Baltimore? Read this to find out. We walked around, ate some crab cakes overlooking the harbor, drank some beers, and just chatted for hours. It was awesome.

IMG_20140409_192224The next morning we drove back to DC and went straight to Arlington National Cemetery. The cherry trees were blossoming, the sky was blue, and there was a nice breeze.

Now, I was prepared for Arlington to be large, but not that large. The gravity of a military cemetery that huge is, well, huge. We were fortunate enough to get to see two wreath ceremonies bookended by Changing of the Guard ceremonies at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was so cool to watch these guys. The discipline is amazing. Logan was able to tell me quite a bit about what’s required of these soldiers, but a bit more research yielded this article, which really highlights just how difficult and painstaking their post is.

Next we walked over the Potomac to see the Lincoln Memorial, The Vietnam Memorial, The WWII Memorial, and the Korean Memorial. They’re all relatively close together, so we figured why not?

IMG_20140409_201433The most powerful of all of those memorials, for me, was the Vietnam Memorial. As you walk up, it seems almost bland, or boring, or nondescript. But once you get up close to it and realize how tall it is at its apex and how many names are etched in the granite, the weight of that hits you and takes your breath away. The other memorials are cool to see, but there’s something about the simplicity in form, and yet the huge impact of the names, that makes the Vietnam Memorial something special.

And then it was time to head home and relieve Nicki of a toddler constantly saying, “A Auntie Annie go? A daddy go?” (Meaning “where did Auntie Annie and daddy go?)

 

 

 

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