Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day and Anniversary in the District

Staying up late and waking up early don't go together very well, but that seems to happen a lot on our vacations. We want to do so much! Today, we hopped on the metro as we have been doing every day this week and headed over to Arlington Cemetery for the Memorial Day address and see the changing of the guards. We were given two roses each. One to put on a grave to remember a soldier's sacrifice and the other to take home and remember what we learned and saw. 

We waited in a really long line to get shuttled to see the vice president give the Memorial Day address at the tomb of the unknown soldier. It was extremely hot and humid. We downed tons of water and were sunburned. Thankfully, with Jeff's active army status, we were shuffled to a shorter line. Unfortunately, it was too close to time, so all shuttles were stopped, and the procession and address began without us. We did not get to go see the VP.  However, when we shuttles got up and we finally arrived at the site across from the tomb of the unknown soldier, we got to hear the president of the U.S., Barack Obama speak, live and only a few feet away from him. It was a beautiful speech about those who sacrificed and a call for us to seek to make a difference in our community, country, and world as well. 

 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, honoring all those unknown soldiers who died in the line of duty.

We took advantage of our time there to go around the site and read the tomb stones. There were so many names, ranks and people. I was touched and proud of these people and their sacrifice for our protection during these wars.  I was very sad as well that so many people lost their lives to the inhumanity of war... There are many factors that create war, but the I think the biggest ones are fear, hatred, and unsettled differences.  It's so unfortunate that people can't live peacefully and respectfully with one another.  It manifests itself in caste systems that places some at a more superior class than another, and misunderstanding and refusal of acceptance or at least tolerance of other beliefs.

Afterwards, we made our way over to the White House. What a beautiful place.  I can't even imagine getting to live in such a large and famous home. Of course there were also a million other people waiting to take pictures there so we had to go quick!

By the way, today is AJ and my first year wedding anniversary!  We celebrated by going to the Hard Rock Cafe (a favorite and a must, every time we travel).  This tradition began while we were on our honeymoon to Orlando (the largest Hard Rock in the world), and has continued ever since.  We had a wonderful time.  They played the Beatles, the Temptations, Led Zeplin, Fall Out Boys, etc.  Everyone was singing and having an awesome time.  Even we joined in.  The controversial song of the night was Katy Parry's "California Girls."  What?!? Is that even legal at Hard Rock?

The food was awesome as always.  I got the Red, White, and Blue Burger with super hot sauce and fries.  Yum! I love the waiters and waitress here.  They are so outgoing and helpful.  They embody their motto, "Love all.  Serve all."  Wonderful!  Also, we got a shout out from our waitress to congratulate us for our anniversary and others joined in as well.  It was so cute :)

FYIW: There was even a system that allowed me to get to the restroom in this old restaurant. 

Funny/Weird Story of the night.  A man came up behind me and told me that he was a chaplain for the U.S. Marines.  He condemned me for being in a wheelchair and proceeded to command me to get up and walk.  The scariest moment was when he yelled "Shut up!!!" to the waitress who was talking to me.  I wasn't exactly sure what to do at that point, so I got out of there as soon as possible.

Then, we had a wonderful romantic walk home, talking about all sorts of stuff and exploring the city.  Gosh I love AJ.  He's my heart and my best friend.  He makes me feel so happy and so safe.  I'm so glad to get to be with him forever and ever...

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