Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Observed, 2006


On our second day in Alexandria, we decided to visit the National Arboretum. I had no idea there even was such a place! It was huge and beautiful. We didn't stay very long because it was a very hot day and some of us were still tired from all of the walking we had done the day before in Old Town. We spent some time visiting a grove where there were representatives of all of the states' trees. We didn't count to make sure all of them were there, but we were pretty sure that they were.
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There was much more to see and do, but we didn't have a lot of time and had to choose carefully. . . . .


We went to a section of Asian plantings and wandered around on a beautifully kept path and looked at the various things that were there. We could imagine that people who live in the area might make frequent visits to the Arboretum to see the different plantings in bloom. We also thought we might like to come again on a day that was not quite so hot and sunny.
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We came to a section called Capitol Columns and I needed to take a picture of them. These columns had been transported to the Arboretum from the U.S. Capitol Building at the time of a renovation (at least that was my understanding -- if I'm not correct, surely Andrew will set me straight) and arranged in a shape vaguely reminiscent of the shape of the Capitol. They look so majestic standing there.
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Just as we were getting ready to leave, Sam got a phone call. Unfortunately, it was from Dick Cheney and Sam didn't have a lot to say to him.
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On the way back to Glenside on Sunday night, Joe and I had NPR on the radio and heard a Memorial Day tribute. It was really excellent in that not only did they pay tribute to fallen heroes of the past, but they also acknowledged the senseless deaths of 2700+ men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan in these recent years, and honored the women and men who continue to serve us in those countries. I was glad to have heard it. I thought back to all of those motorcyclists we'd seen in Alexandria -- so many of them were self-identified as Vietnam Vets -- and I thought about how in recent years Memorial Day hasn't really been much more than a Day Off but now, all at once, it is very important once again.

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