Friday, September 3, 2010

My Trip to Washington, D.C. - Part 3

Sunday, August 29, was my last free day in Washington, D.C. Saturday was a long day, so I slept-in on Sunday morning. Breakfast was about 9:00 a.m. and I had time to plan the day. The Yellow Line which goes to Reagan National ends at Fort Totten and that stop is only two away from Silver Spring on the Red line. Since I will have a suitcase tomorrow, I decided to do a practice run to the airport. Getting on at the end of the line will give me several choices of seats where I can get the suitcase out of the way. I saw a number of people heading to Reagan National that obviously had attended the rally on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, so I watched the planes land and take-off for awhile.

One of the things I always do in Washington is to visit DuPont Circle. Don’t ask we why because I don’t know. It’s a tradition. So, I transferred to the Red Line only to learn that DuPoint Circle was closed because of a power failure. Soon, it was back to Union Station and the double deck bus out to Arlington. There is something inspiring about Arlington and those young men who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns. (I noted that Unknowns was plural in some of the documents. I wonder if that is the correct term?)

From Arlington, I go to the Vietnam Wall. Hundreds of people are now milling around the site. Off to the side a Pipe Band is practicing for some reason. I am finally able to find the McDonough name. Sp4 George Watson McDonough was the young son of my wife’s brother. He was 19 years of age. In the Vietnam War, West Virginia had the highest casualty rate in the nation, Oklahoma was second. Names are still being added as veterans die from war related causes. Not sure about the total number but one source said 58,195 names, including several women.

Back on the bus, I continued riding across the Potomac river to the Crystal City shopping center and then back to Washington and the Willard Hotel. I walk over to the White House again and stand around with a few hundred people. It’s Sunday, so we all think the President is probably playing golf. The Rally people are still very much in evidence.

Chinese food sounded good for today, so I walked to Chinatown and went to 541 H. St. This is the former home of Mary Surratt and is now a Chinese restaurant. Mary Surratt was hanged as one of the conspirators in the murder of President Lincoln. Mrs. Surratt had operated a boarding house at this location and it is believed that meetings took place here as John Wilkes Booth planned the assassination of the President.

The sweet and sour pork was excellent.

The Navy Memorial is not far away on 7th Ave., so I walk in that direction. Across the street is the Starbucks. I skiped the iced coffee with milk in favor of a small decalf. The Navy Memorial is a round ceremonial amphitheater paved in granite with fountains and a large map of the world. Many people had their lunch around the low walls, so I returned with my coffee to sit for an hour..

I have enjoyed being in Washington, D.C. It makes one feel good about the Country to see the great, historic buildings. At my age, I have to wonder if this will be my last trip to Washington.

However, I have a balance of $3.95 on my Metro farecard. It would be a shame to waste the money.

I finally got the Red Line at the Archives Station and head back to Silver Spring.

Tomorrow, I will be home.

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