The remaining memorial sites in that area: Korean and Lincoln--for Gerhardt.
I don't know anything at all about the Korean war I realized just now. On the civil war we have an excellent video set which features a lot of reading and poetry from the time, all kinds of excerpts, in case any one wants to borrow it.
The loss of life in all these conflicts is just staggering. In my little brain, I keep saying though, we have so many young people lost nowadays to road accidents, drugs and suicide, irresponsible behaviors of myriad kinds, we are in a different kind of war. My neighbor and I added up the young people lost to accidents and suicides in our neighborhood of 40 houses and the farms a mile or two around (rural area is in miles because of the quartersections), we added up 10 people in the last five years or so. Just as staggering, also, to me.
Also a picture of my lunch soaking in the fall sun and a picture of my lunch partner, are found at the end.
He was my father's youngest sister's husband and a good friend of our family. His children, of course, are my cousins and they have been keeping in touch with us emigres.
He was always very good to us and often provided accommodation and intelligent conversation for us on our visits. He loved to talk politics and sometimes religion. He had a understated, yet sometimes "wicked" wit, smiling gently at his own smart jokes, and loved to lecture on exalted topics. He was a pastor's son, studied to be a preacher, became a career soldier and then social worker for ex-convicts. He had a great sensitivity. He and my aunt visited us often in Canada.
I will be missing the funeral. I miss all the funerals of the extended family. I missed the funerals of every single one of my grandparents. This is a bad part of living so far away. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the clan, as well as gratitude for the many warm favors I have enjoyed from him and my aunt. His Savior he knew, I am assured by my cousin. Lord be with my dear ones.
We are going to jump straight to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was pretty much as expected to me, as we often see it on television. The two most moving things to me were the items left at the bottom of the lists of fallen soldiers. People leave lamiated sheets with information about the fallen with their pictures and vital statistics. It makes it very clear that these soldiers were other people's brothers, uncles, etc. and are still missed, cherished and honored. These sheets are attached to little floral bouquets.
From watching the people I noticed a young couple the most, she black, he white, who were looking up a name in the book that contained all the names of the fallen in the order in which it was left. They did everything very thoughtfully, hanging on to each other. It seemed a little different to me, since they looked so young.
The age does not matter in grief. The losses are permanent. We live with them. We don't get over them. They become part of our landscape. Like the amputees without their limbs, which they can't ever get back, the invisible losses are an invisible amputation. That imagery gets used all the time. Because it fits.
In terms of Vietnam, it of course, touches on our childhoods also, as we can remember the daily cruel newscasts and images. Who can forget the people hanging on to the last helicopters leaving Saigon, for example? These images are etched onto humanity's collective psyche.
My friend Gerhardt wants more trip report. So I think I will show the war memorial sites, which I saw on my last day in the city. I cannot now believe that I left them for last. It was a glorious day, however-- too beautiful to be squandered on excellent museums even. To shorten our northern winter we Edmontonians will absorb, inhale, consume any beautiful warm day to the max.
I walked fromt he naval circle metro station straight west along the south lawn of the White House.
(The picture below is from another day, actually taken in the evening, looking north from the Washington memorial. See the people straining to look up at it. I think it is almost 200 m tall.)
Ok, we are approaching the World War II Memorial, which was very impressive. Each State had it's own individual memorial with a victor's wreath. There were the bigger wreaths hanging in larger structures to indicate the victories in the Atlantic and the Pacific. There were present many visitors including veterans and amputees and families having their picture taken by the wreath for their own respective state. All quite moving to see.
When I was there, I was very grateful that America indeed had finally finished off this horrid war. All Germans surely were praying for that. Too bad it took so long to take down Hitler and his army. My poor father-in-law was stuck in this war, drafted pratically as a boy. Both Martin's and my families became refugees and displaced people. This is how we all ended up in North America, really.
I grew up listening to all the horror stories which made big impressions on growing minds, and now some of us feel we are the decendants of those who lived and we have to tell our stories, too. Hence, some of my Silesia posts.
Anyhow, the WW II memorial was quite grandious and so it deserves to be.
(Looking from the reflecting pond in front of the Lincoln Museum. Under the US flag flies a little flag for those missing in action. The thought makes me almost weep. This flag flies everywhere; also in the Capitol Rotunda.)
All of which makes me think of those presently serving in the military, including my new Canadian in-law's.
Garry, I think that's enough for today! Just two memorials. I took a lot of pictures because my husband was not with me. He does indeed feel now that he has seen quite a lot.
As a few people know, I've recently enjoyed a trip to Washington DC to visit a friend and go sight-seeing. I will just tell you a little about it, today. The friend I travelled to see was Myrtle, a fellow Lutheran blogger. She was a kind hostess, providing shelter, love, directions, transportation and cooking. Many thanks to her for all her provisions!
Below find the picture she took of me enjoying her home-made quesadilla. She thought that I could eat the entire plate, but we ended up sharing it.
(For the life of me, I cannot get this picture to go right side up. You will have to turn your head. -- Look at that, I'm turning heads.)
The other picture I will show you today is the one my husband liked a lot. In any case, he started laughing out loud. It is taken just north of the White House. I am not sure what to make of it. I kind of feel sorry for Barak Obama. The times are very bad with all this huge new government debt.
And below find one of my favorite pictures. This one, of course, is taken from the Word War II Memorial towards the Lincoln Memorial. The city is quite spectacularly beautiful and absolutely worth a visit.
In case anyone is wondering what happened to me, I am doing quite well. My husband and I have been on a short trip to the mountains; this is a picture from Bragg Creek area of Alberta's foothills. I am trying to catch up a year's worth of bookkeeping; I've read a Chesterton Nightmare on the trip; I've ramped up an exercise regimen; the Love Life Conference needs some attention; and most of all I am worried about a friend.