Sunday, April 10, 2005

Washington, Jefferson, and Arlington

I can now say that there is not one thing here in Washington that I wanted to see but did not see before going home.

Yesterday I got up in the morning and went down the the Washington Monument hoping to take a ride up to the observation deck. That plan was thwarted when I arrived at 9:30 and discovered that tickets for the day had run out at 9. (They start handing them out at 8:30).

But I saw the thing from where I stood, and was satisfied. I then started walking south to the Jefferson Memorial and the banks of the Potomac where the cherry blossoms were. For those of you who don't know, the cherry blossoms appearing each spring is a big to-do for some reason.

I'll admit, they do smell nice and they look kinda pretty.

But I don't think it's cool enough for every photographer in three states to go on a pilgrimage to the place. I mean the place was crawling with photographers, heck, I had my AE-1P with me.

But I didn't try to get some wild-eyed, new looking images of the blossoms. That would have been impossible. The legions of photographers had every inch of the tidal basin rendered to film and/or pixels several times over.

So I decided to be a smartass and started photographing the photographers as they were photographing the over-photographed cherry blossoms.

I'm so devious.

That got old after a while, so I got back on the Metro and came home for the day, and went to church later on.

This morning, I got out of bed around 7:30 and showered, put on my black suit, and left for Arlington National Cemetery to pay my respects to the great men and women buried there.

It was a beautiful day outside; blue skies, calm breeze, and naturally... legions of dull-minded, disrespectful tourists.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but you'd think people would wear something nice to the final resting place of thousands of men who died protecting this country. But you'd be thinking wrong.

The only people I saw who were dressed formally other than myself were the soldiers who took part in the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown soldiers. It was amazing to watch, but I was infuriated at how many people I could hear mumbling and whining during the ceremony when they had been specifically asked to be quiet.

I was also bothered that John F. Kennedy's grave and memorial was treated like a bench. This poor security guard had to keep going about telling people not to sit on it.

It was also interesting seeing that John F. Kennedy had a huge memorial and eternal flame, while Robert F. Kennedy was off to the side and had but a rock and a white cross over his grave.

Talk about your sibling rivalry.

As for me, I saw what I needed to see, and I did my best to honor those who rest there.

I also helped a few families out in finding their way when they saw my suit and figured I was a tour guide or history professor.


Blogger Vicky Hawthorne said...

Sounds like you had a lovely day. I hope you post the pics of the photographers shooting the cherry blossoms.

1:40 PM  

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