Saturday, October 11, 2008

10/10 or a Day in DC

On Friday, October 10, the sun was shining, the skies were clear, the air was fresh, even in DC. Reminiscent of 9/11, even though a month later, and 7 years of course.

In the District of Columbia on that day: a Vietnam veteran copped out from making his first visit to the Vietnam memorial, a cousin of a decorated World War II soldier was mightily impressed by the WWII memorial, surviving members of Bomber Group 401 were honored at a ceremony, including music by an Air Force brass group, two tourists passed by the District of Columbia memorial for "The World War" (built in the optimism of the 1920's), the widow of a Navy veteran of the Korean War era was not affected by the Korean War memorial. Uptown at the World Bank the finance ministers were meeting on the crisis, but the Federal Reserve Bank headquarters looked serene and remote in the sunshine, the statue of Albert Einstein near the sidewalk was invisible.

Also, National Park workers were busy keeping the gardens by the Tidal Basin looking good, even this late in the year, joggers jogged, an eagle landed on the fence on the Mall keeping tourists off grass that needs rejuvenation, tourists from all parts of the world took pictures of the monuments, and of each other taking pictures of each other. The Jefferson Memorial was very visible, the White House not. The cafeteria at the American Indian museum served very good pumpkin and acorn soup and a succotash far removed from the succotash found 50 years ago in early frozen food sections of groceries. A veteran of the Utah beach landings talked about his service (with the 9th Division) in WWII and Korea, his spine-tingling experience of a night visit to the Korean war memorial, and about his 20+ years researching genealogy.

A street evangelist, aided by loudspeakers, urged blacks to accept salvation and to reject whites (I think, the noise was rather overwhelming). An "Irish pub" served Guinness, and several males full of beer and testerone, and perhaps angst over the 1000 point down and up of the Dow. A man, young to an old codger but feeling the passage of time, talked of his interest in genealogy, the delights in mapping family trees and instigating family reunions. The Metro down escalators were static, but didn't hinder the rush of bureaucrats and other workers heading home for a long holiday weekend, celebrating the "discovery" of America by one Columbus, who wasn't greeted with pumpkin soup by the natives, who had discovered America 100 centuries or more before.

Finally, two tired people made their way to home and hotel.

No comments: