To our American friends, happy 4th of July. We are in the nation’s capital, Washington DC, to observe the festivities with our friends, Gregg and Carol Turner.
Our time in Washington DC has been full and interesting. Yesterday we took the overview tour of the city, noting the history and architecture. We dined at Capital Grille for lunch; visited the National Archives to see the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and toured the Capitol building.
The previous day we visited Mt Vernon – home of George Washington, which is perched high above the Potomac River. After touring the house, we sat on the porch and breathed in the bucolic vista. From Mt Vernon, we travelled to the nearby Gristmill and Distillery, owned and operated by the Washington family.
We started today with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery – a most moving experience. Arlington is the most prestigious national cemetery but it is not the largest. It was originally the Arlington Plantation, built by George Washington’s step grandson. Washington’s great granddaughter, who inherited Arlington, married Robert E Lee, who later went on to lead the Confederates in the Civil War. It is a most gracious and serene place with beautiful vistas of the nation’s capital.
Up early, we headed out to beat the heat. Due to closures on the nearby Metro rail system, we parked at Reagan National Airport and caught the Metro to Arlington. Once inside, we took the tram tour around the cemetery. We visited the eternal flame at JFK’s resting place. Although we recognized some of the well known names, all residents here are heroes. At one stop, a tram guide identified Gregg as a veteran and proceeded to give a heartfelt vote of thanks and handshake for his and all veterans’ service to enable a free and prosperous USA. It was an unforgettably emotional moment, producing many a misty eye.
On to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the changing of the guard ceremony. The precision with which the Honor Guard carried out their duty, encapsulated the high esteem held for the fallen. After watching the ceremony we toured the pavilion behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to further enrich our understanding of the ceremony. Again, very moving.
After completing the tour, we headed off for Georgetown and lunch in air conditioned comfort. Due to a hick-up in our Big Bus – Hop on Hop off bus (route severely curtailed due to 4th of July festivities), we decided to head back to our abode for a LLD – little lie down before the fireworks.
Unfortunately, thunderstorms struck. Flash flooding predicted. So, we opted to stay inside and watch the festivities on the tv.
So much to see! So much to do! So little time!
Such is Life!