So Jenn and I went to D. C. this weekend. For those who don't know, my grandfather served in the Korean War. For years him and I talked about going to the Korean War Memorial. Everytime it came to actually go he would back out. I think he was afraid of not being about to handle it and not break down. I can understand and respect that. The past November my grandfather left us. So I decided in memory of him I would make the trip we always talked about. It was a very mixed bag.
Jenn and I took the train down and checked into The Quincy. Pretty cool hotel. The girl Jennifer at the front desk was wickedly helpful in the planning weekend. After we checked in we walked to the White House where Jenn turned into a 6 year old, all giddy and stuff, and I almost let my mind slip and pick on the guards for watching too many Arnold films. We walked around the general area and then went back to the hotel to chill for the night.
Saturday we got up early and left at 8am to walk to the memorials. The new WWII memorial was huge and pretty cool. The WWI memorial made me sad cause it looked lost and unmaintained in comparison. No matter how old the war, we should never forget.
The Korean War memorial started out bad for me. I was afraid of how it would effect me. We didn't even get to it and we saw four guys ride right past the NO BIKES sign to the memorial. So right off the bat I am pissed off and want to punch these guys for the disrespect. I justified it cause they looked old enought to maybe have served in Korea. The memorial itself is very eerie. There are statues of soldiers walking through the field, to the side of them is a wall with images of servicemen watching over the soliders. I took pause at the section with the tanks and their crew. That would have been grandpa.
We then moved on to the Lincoln Memorial which is pretty cool. Jenn was more impressed and interested then I was. Her and all her civil rights-ness. Plus I was side tracked by what I had just seen. We walked past a booth that flustered me, selling pins and badges that our servicemen work hard to earn. Then on to what I knew would be a test.
The statue in front of the Vietnam Memorial was under renovations, so we could only see it through glass. We did learn that two Sopers are listed on the wall. One from MI which is where Grandpa was from. I was overwhelmed with all the names, but held together pretty good until I noticed and older gentleman standing at the center of the wall. He touched the wall, tried to hide his tears, wiped them away, then walked away. He pulled out his wallet and had a list of names and locations. He moved on to another section of the wall and found the next name. I do not know if the names were relatives, friends, or people he served with. I wanted to go and just offer him some support, but didn't. Then the thought hit me, if they build a memorial for 9/11 and/or the wars of this generation, that guy could be Dave or I. . . . .
Jenn sat with me for a bit and then we moved on to the National Zoo, where she promptly turned into a 6 year again. 6 hours and two Juriassic Park moments later, my feet are killing me, I hate Jenn for putting me through it, and love her for taking my mind off things. We met up with Jenn's friend Matt where we learned that Jenn's education is old enough to drink and I asked the all important question, "Is that a horse painted on a horse?"
Today we got up and went to Union Station where I almost blew a gasket as I found a kiosk that sells a Purple Heart. YES! YOU CAN FUCKING BUY A PURPLE HEART! WHAT KINDING OF FUCKING BULLSHIT IS THAT? I would write someone, but it would do no good. Anyway, we are back to "reality."