Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"The 2009 Veterans Day Challenge" or "Where the Heck Is the War of 1812 Memorial?"

A bunch of Cheetos eatin', mouth breathin' history and web nerds joined me to see if we can visit memorials to all branches of the military and all the major US wars in three hours or less on Veterans Day. Around 20 stops are planned, can we do it?

7:03 AM We are off into the rainy and gray day with visits to the African American Civil War Memorial, John A. Logan statue (Civil and Mexican-American Wars) and General Winfield Scott (Mexican-American War).

7:30 AM United States Navy Memorial. Each spring sailors from the U.S. Navy's Ceremonial Guard pour water from the Seven Seas and the Great Lakes into the surrounding fountains "charging" them to life and ushering in the spring season. We also check out tributes to the Coast Guard Memorial and the Women of the Navy.

First fight of the day-- Jackson Square is in New Orleans. In Lafayette Park in DC is an equestrian statue of General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. My confusion is understandable but calling my cell phone I left at home is not going to help me find your shivering, cold asses on 17th Street. Many valuable minutes lost here.

Here's the statue of Revolutionary War hero Lafayette. Or it might be General Jackson. Or a Jackson Brother (Tito).

The First Division Memorial (Army) on 17th St is closed off due to construction. There is a Desert Storm Memorial in there somewhere so we take credit for finding it anyway. Is it just me or is it that every where we go a Secret Service patrol car pops up?

The Red Cross, the WW II Memorial and The District of Columbia First World War Memorials get a drive-by since it is almost 8:30. The Secret Service follows us to World War II but turns around shortly thereafter.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial reflects the day.

Often the Korean War is referred to as the "Forgotten War." We didn't forget it but due to some bad navigation walked south instead of north (or west instead of east?). Taking the pictures from a distance adds to the poignancy and saves my failing feet from another march across the Mall.

Check the time and it is 9:23 am. I'm hungry but we need to dash to across the river (via the Memorial Bridge symbolizing the reunification of the North and South after the Civil War yadda yadda yadda) to find the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial on the GW Parkway. Unfortunately it too is surrounded by construction barriers so naturally we end up driving around the Reagan National Airport complex for a good ten minutes. Bitter accusations and hate speech may have occurred at this point.

Arlington Cemetery. All sorts of memorial stuff stuff found.

The Women in Military Service for America Memorial is located at the Ceremonial Entrance to Arlington National Cemetery and honors all women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

10:00 AM and we still have Iwo Jima, the Air Force Memorial and the War of 1812 Memorial.

10:35.AM We are done. Twenty stops and 256 pictures! Three hours thirty minutes! Not bad! But wait, we still have the War of 1812 Memorial which is...uhm...well here is a shot of the
Francis Scott Key Bridge.

This post is dedicated to Air Force veteran Herb Sr (who turns 80 in December!) and follows his tourist philosophy of "Quick kids, take a picture and get back in the car! We can look at 'em when we get home!"

No comments: