Tuesday, May 27, 2008

5-27-08: Trip to DC

I took a little trip down to lovely Washington DC this past weekend with a couple buddies. We took the train down, and made a quick stop in Philadelphia.

Boy, DC sure has changed since I was a kid. I went there a couple years ago, but didn't feel like stopping by the Capitol since I'd seen it before. But my buddy Sam had never been to DC, so we made all the usual tourist stops. We went to the Air and Space Museum, which was neat, especially for a few aerospace engineers. We stopped by the National Archives and waited in line to see the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. But, unlike when I was younger, we couldn't take a tour of the Capitol. It's funny how things have changed.

I understand how things aren't as safe as they used to be, so it is important to protect the buildings. It's just too bad that it's not as easy to see them. You can't take a tour of the White House without an appointment from your congressman, or see the Capitol. I'm just glad I got to tour them when I was younger.

But DC is a place you can go to from time to time to really feel good about being an American. With all the stuff in the news and negative feeling and fear of terrorism, it's nice to walk up to the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial at night, when the light is just right, and feel a little chill go down your spine. Going on Memorial Day weekend is especially nice.

I think the coolest part of the trip was visiting the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. I'd seen it before, but watching the changing of the guard is really something special. But the even better part was the laying of wreaths. They had these middle school kids standing at the top of the steps that go down to the tomb, and the sergeant (I'm guessing) in charge marches up to greet them. The funny part about that is that he was completely perfect in his march up the steps, but when he got up to the top he greeted them with a "What's up?!" It was nice to see that. It made them a bit more human. That was just a cool sight to see.

I hope every one had a nice Memorial Day Weekend. Remember to say a prayer for the troops. They're working long and hard to protect us all.

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