Sunday, January 3, 2016

Taking A Sunday Drive #9

Quite possibly from our very first date.....

.....but certainly after knowing him for awhile and learning about some of his experiences in Vietnam, one of the daydreams I was most desirous of coming true was that one day he would get to see The Memorial Wall in D.C.

It would be 27 years, but we finally got there.
I had been in D.C. a couple of times prior to the construction of Maya Lin's design, but being there with Bud was that dream come true.

We had seen one of The Moving Wall replicas when it was on the statehouse grounds in Des Moines, but it was no comparison to being at the real Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Lin's choice as the designer, and the design itself, was very controversial in 1981. Now I cannot imagine a more fitting memorial. Its stark minimalism and the reflective quality of the stone etched with the names of those who died in the war provide peace to many.

Near The Wall is the bronze statue,  The Three Servicemen. The soldiers appear to be solemnly looking across at the names on The Wall.

Also a short distance from The Wall is the Vietnam Women's Memorial.

I was very impressed by the new WWII Memorial opened in 2004. This view looks across the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial.

The fountain, one of the arches and some of the pillars. Each pillar is inscribed with the name of a state. The arch on the south side represents the Pacific theater of the war and the one on the north, the Atlantic. This memorial, too, had its share of controversy over design and setting, but I think it is beautiful. One of the reasons it was rushed to approval and completion was that WWII veterans were aging and dying at a high rate. The Freedom Honor Flights have made it possible for hundreds of veterans to visit Washington, D.C. and the memorials in their honor.

 Including the impressive Korean War Veterans Memorial on the south side of the reflecting pool.

The Washington Monument seen across the reflecting pool from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

All the memorials and monuments are beautiful and impressive. Quite possible my favorite is the Jefferson Memorial seen here across the Tidal Basin. was completed the year I was born.

There's so much to see and do in our nation's capitol that I would go again and again. The one thing that added immensely to this trip in 2008 was that Bud's son Mark was there to share it with him.

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