Thursday, November 6, 2008

Protection in force...

11/6/08 - Happy 8th Birthday Amanda!!

Today, we visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It was interesting to see the history of flight from the Wright Brothers to the present day. The displays were impressive including the original plane that Orville and Wilbur created to make their first flight and Amelia Earhart 's "lipstick red" plane that she flew over the Atlantic. It makes us thankful that these early adventurers were determined and fearless in their quest for exploration.
The highlight of our day was going to the Pentagon, with clearance provided by our congressman. Our guides were Naval officers and excellent at teaching us about the many facets of the impressive facility. The Pentagon is the world's largest office building with over 23,000 employees - both military and civilian. It has 17.5 miles of corridors on the 5 floor-5 sided large building. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, where all 5 branches of the military are managed and coordinated. It left us with a strong sense of protection and pride in our military.
We also saw the Pentagon's new 9/11 memorial, which just opened September 2008. It was touching and cleverly designed with 184 benches angled at 43 degrees, the same angle in which the plane struck the building. At each bench, there is a small reflecting pool with lights making it both symbolic and solumn. In addition, a memorial and chapel were built inside the building, located at the exact point of impact.
The Arlington Cemetery was only one stop away by Metro, so we were able to see Kennedy's grave and the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. There are over 300,000 military and dignatary graves, and it provided us with awe and humility for our fallen heros.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by Union Station, which was built in 1907. This historic train station is beautiful and has over 100 shops and restaurants,, and even a movie thetre. With Amtrack and the metro exchange, along with the retail outlets, it is a busteling concentration of activity 24 hours a day.

We finished the day by meeting a friend, Greg Moore, for dinner. It was good to see him and we were able to sit in Washington and enjoy conversation with another republican........We are finding very few of us here!
**Just as a side note - In Washington, DC, polls show that over 93% of the voters supported Obama during the election!

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