12 October 2014

Another day of rain.

This morning did not start well with it chucking it down before breakfast. We had wanted to go back into the centre, using the hotel shuttle to the Metro station, but it being a weekend there were many more guests wanting the same thing. Consequently after almost an hours wait, the boys decided to take the car to Arlington Cemetery. 
Alan used his iPad to get a route and found that the iPad, using Google Maps could be followed all the way. It even had a spot marking our progress, and this despite it only being a wifi iPad. The rain had let up by the time we got there and now it was just cold and damp.

After getting a map at the visitors centre and parking the car there, we all walked to the Marines Memorial.

Although this sculpture represents the flag raising at Iwo Jima, in WWII,  it is a memorial to all the marines since the formation of the Corps in 1775. 

We walked back through the cemetery to the Kennedy tomb which was some way away as the cemetery is very large and contains over 400,000 military graves.

John F Kennedy memorial

Jacqueline his wife, a still born daughter and a son Patrick, who predeceased JFK by 15 days are also buried there. The two brothers, Bobby and Teddy are also buried just around the corner from JFK.

We walked now to the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. This is guarded 24 hours a day 365 days a year by the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, known as "The Old Guard"! This is also the oldest active infantry regiment in the US Army having been formed in 1784. 

Alan was not impressed with the rubber mat to march up and down on, but otherwise the very young man did his job well enough.

We were all surprised to find a grave and memorial to an English Field Marshall Sir John Greer Dill. It is one of only two statues of horse and rider in the cemetery too. He was the Chief of the British Joint Staff Mission to the USA and then Senior British Representative on the Combined Chiefs of Staff, and played a significant role during the Second World War in the formation of the "special relationship" between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Having had enough of the cemetery the boys drove to the Pentagon, where we left the car and took the Metro into town. 

Outside the Library of Congress we found Sirens and Neptune. They seemed quite happy with all the water from the fountain and heavens too. Inside we were pleasantly surprised at the magnificence of it all.

Two treasures on display which pleased the professional printer in George were the Gutenberg Bible and the Giant Bible of Mainz, one of the last hand written versions of the Bible.

This whole Bible seems to have been copied by just one man!

Back outside George noticed a sticker attached to a waste bin which shows that some Germans were here before us!

We were all now desperate for a coffee and walked through the park to find a Starbucks. On the way we found various things that Alan found worthy of photographing.

The Capitol Building

The Supreme Court

Coffee revived us and so we walked to Judiciary Square where we got on a Metro to begin the journey back to the Pentagon.

The Metro is clean, efficient and functional, but not pretty like some underground systems we have seen. At the Pentagon we took in the very interesting memorial to 9/11, which is the only National one. The youngest person who died on the plane was just three years old!!

Each memorial unit consists of a cantilevered bench and a lighted pool of flowing water. The benches are positioned in such a way, so that if you can see the name and the sky above it, it denotes someone who was on the plane, and if you can see the Pentagon above the name, as above, then they were in the building. 125 died in the building and 59 on the plane.

Thereafter using Alan's iPad we navigated our way home again, tired but content.

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