Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Trip to DC - Part 5

Saturday morning we arose early....not quite as early as we'd hoped, but still...managed to get breakfast and head about an hour out to a train station, and then took a train into DC to avoid parking hassles. It was a rainy morning, and cooler than it had been, which was oddly nice. Rain didn't scare me, but it did keep the tourist population down for a while.

We first went to the Holocaust Museum, which was huge and very powerful. There was film-clip footage that I had no idea even existed, both of some of the atrocities that happened and of what US and Russian troops found as they liberated the concentration camps. Unbelievably sad and maddening. There was an interesting display about propaganda and Hitler's rise to power...frightening how relatively easily it happened. The most touching and deeply disturbing display was simply of shoes....thousands of shoes found at a concentration camp.....kid shoes, adult shoes, all styles and sizes. When I saw a shoe about Kaylen's size, I just started to cry. What that child must have witnessed, the complete helplessness and desperation the parents must have felt. All too much. So terrifying that thousands upon thousands of people let 11 million people be murdered. (Numbers somewhat uncertain.)

On a happier note, we then wandered by the Washington Memorial, took a long walk along the river over to the Jefferson Memorial, then back to the main mall for a short rest with our feet in a fountain at the WWII memorial, then up to the Lincoln Memorial and finally past the Vietnam Memorial. It was all much BIGGER than I thought....the size of the city, the grandeur of the monuments, and the distance between things. It was so much fun to see the sights I had only seen in movies or on TV. Whenever I see the National Mall, I think if pictures I saw of the AIDS quilt displayed upon it during the late 80's or early 90's. Not a happy memory, but of historical significance, which is what a trip to DC is all about.

Note: These are camera phone pictures. My "real" pictures are still on a disk in my camera and I have not gone through them. As you can tell, the sky was amazing and I think I may have gotten some really spectacular shots as the afternoon turned into evening. Stay tuned!

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