Remember

When we were in D.C. this Spring, we hired a driver and tour guide for the last day. Manny, our driver, took us around to some of the big sites, including many of the war memorials.

One of my most favorite memorials is the Korean War Memorial.  I’ve been twice, now, and both times it took my breath away.

There’s just something about the 19 life-size soldiers.  Their faces, so lifelike….

A long, black granite wall runs alongside the sculptures.  The sculptures are reflected in this wall…

If I’m remembering correctly, their reflection is supposedly symbolic of the 38th Parallel–the reflection doubles the number of soldiers to equal 38.

The granite wall is etched with faces based on actual photographs of unidentified American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. The faces represent all those who provided support for the ground troops.

It’s a beautiful and moving monument.  Very much worth a visit, especially at dusk.

Of course, the Vietnam Wall is well-known, for very good reasons.

I’ve been here three times, now, and each time has been special.

But, this year, was the most moving.  I was stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this man and his son.

They literally brought me to tears; they weren’t tourists, like me.  This visit, for them, was very, very personal.

They were remembering.

You can’t visit D.C. without being forced to remember those who have fought and died for our freedoms.

One of my new favorite memorials is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

It depicts three nurses; one holding a wounded soldier, one looking for the helicopter, and one down on her knee, praying.

It’s another moving sculpture.

We visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, near Arlington National Cemetery, for the first time this Spring.   I was especially excited to see this monument, basically because I’ve read the book, Flags of our Fathers. It brought this historic photograph/sculpture/story to life for me.  I highly recommend reading the book.

The monument is rather large, so while I snapped pictures of the entire sculpture, I focused on the hands.

Lastly, the one place that really brings home Memorial Day, is seeing the endless white grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery….

Each memorial and monument forced me to remember the sacrifice and dedication so many men and women have given our country (and other countries, as well).

Please take a moment this weekend, between pool visits and grilling out, to say thank you for these men and women’s sacrifices.

May God bless and protect our troops who are serving our country today and in the future.

Happy Memorial Day,

E.

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