Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Visit to The Wall, and Other Memorials

Last weekend, the boyfriend and I went to DC to visit the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall and the other Memorials. He had never been to the Wall, and as we are planning to go to the  Gathering of Eagles  on March 17, we decided to see the Wall while there are not ralliers and protesters around.

The Wall visit was sobering and somber, as it always is for me, and he was also touched by it. We took some pictures, posted above. We also visited the Korean War Memorial, and the World War II memorial.

While walking from the Korean War memorial to the World War II Memorial, we passed a small memorial that you could barely see from the walkway. When we decided to check it out, we walked on a dilapidated pathway towards a white structure that was covered with black,sooty dirt.

I had tears in my eyes before we even got to the structure, because I could read across the top something about "World War"...with no number after it....and I said "This is so sad, they built this Memorial thinking there would be no more wars like that one, this Must be a World War I memorial."

We found out that is indeed a World War I memorial, built to honor the fallen from the District of Columbia in that war.

By this time, I was also openly crying, saying "This is so Wrong, this memorial should not be this dilapidated!" and also, "I never knew this was here before, how could I have visited here so many times and missed this?"  While I wept, I told Tony that I had memories of reading a letter written by I believe one of my grandfather's older brothers or cousins? who had flown the open cockpit biplanes in WW I.  That letter has been lost to the mists of time, and anyone I could ask about it is now gone, but I just remember him writing about the beauty of the skies when they flew, and how much he loved flying.

I dried my eyes as we prepared to leave and made a promise to myself to look up whatever I could find about this memorial when I got home. What still upsets me enormously is, if we allow the memorials to those who have fallen in a war to become dilapidated and in need of repairs, are we not dishonoring the memory of those who served and gave their all?

In my research, I found out more about this memorial, and I share those links here  Click here: World War I Memorial - Washington D.C. Attractions

I found out I was not the first person to be concerned about it's dilapidated state.   Click here: DCPL: Most Endangered Places - DC World War I Memorial
and I found an NPR show done about it.  Click here: NPR : Washington's World War I Memorial
We walked on towards the World War II memorial Click here: National WWII Memorial  and just happened to enter on the side commerorating the Pacific part of the conflict, which seemed appropriate, considering my Grandfather's service in WW II .
We were privileged to walk up upon a conversation between a National Park Service employee who was just getting ready to give a lecture about the battle for Iwo Jima, and a gentleman who had served in the War flying B52 bombers, and seen action at Iwo.That gentleman remained while the lecture was given, and the Park Service employee several times asked him for input or clarification.
Afterwards, Tony approached him and shook his hand, and told him what an honor it had been for him to be present there with us, and also thanked him for his service.
The only other things I wanted to mention about our trip was that we of course took another picture of the memorial for the Nurses who served in Vietnam, which holds a special place in my heart because of my aunt's service
and that we asked a Park Service employee several questions about what to expect on March 17, and based on her replies, she still had No knowledge of the Gathering of Eagles but all her answers referred to the antiwar rally being held that day.
So please, Help Get The Word Out! 
What: Gathering of Eagles

When: March 17th, 2007
0700-1600 (7 AM to 4 PM)

Where: The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall, Washington D.C.

Why: To stand silent guard over our nation's memorials, in honor of our fallen, and in solidarity with our armed forces in harm's way today. Read our mission statement.

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