Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The District


Back in April of '11, when Big Time and The WSO were still stationed at NAS Oceana and The Nuke was still part of ship's company on the mighty USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, The Missus Herself and Your Humble Scribe ventured forth from the shores of Narragansett Bay for to visit our young'uns. The senior granddaughter was still nobbut a wee thing, not quite 1 year old. Hadn't seen her in a while so it was good to head south for to spoil the grand progeny.

We hung out, Big Time was, naturally, at sea and The WSO and The Nuke decided to take a bit of leave so we could travel up to one of my favorite cities, Washington.

I know, I know, politics, bureaucrats, bad traffic, and enough panhandlers to make yer eyes water with the indignity of it all. Still and all, I love DC.

Museums, history, and the like, it's all right up my alley. Now that The Nuke actually works there, I get to visit more often. I still have a number of things on the list to see.

But I did get a few pictures back then, not as many as I thought, or perhaps I just can't remember where I stored them. Ah well...

The Korean War Memorial is superb. I need to see it in winter...
The troops look like they're returning from patrol.
Standing there sent shivers up my spine...
I do believe I was standing on the spot where Dr. King made his speech. Talk about feeling the weight of history!
We had gone up from Norfolk hoping to see the cherry blossoms. Mostly gone by, a bit of fog one day.
The National Museum of Natural History from the Mall. Yup, it's a favorite.
The National WWII Memorial. My home state stands in good company here.
Don't hate DC, dislike the politicos all you want, but it's a great place to visit. If you haven't been, you should. It is one of the cities of the world I absolutely love.




24 comments:

  1. I had a buddy from work tell me about his visit to the Korean War memorial. It was snowing, foggy and at night. The guys kept appearing and disappearing into the foggy snow. He said it made his skin crawl... I always wanted to see that memorial, preferably in the same conditions.

    So much there I'd like to see, but I don't want to visit a communist country to see it. I've never been interested in gambling with my life and the lives of my loved ones to visit that burg with an empty hand.

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    1. There are parts of the city one should avoid, like most cities, but for the most part the "danger" of DC is much over-rated. It ain't as bad as people say, most of whom have never actually been there for any length of time.

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    2. The video editing machine in my head says that that memorial could potentially be really freaky. Talk about ghosts. So much unfinished business embodied in that memorial. Ghosts that are now haunting us daily.

      I wonder how many people have seen those statues move in bad weather? You can see the sculptor intended to impart 'motion' and 'site picture' into it.

      Okay, I am officially creeped out.

      And I really need to get my hands on a Garand.

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    3. That particular memorial made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, especially because of my personal ties to Korea. It truly is an awesome memorial.

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  2. I don't agree with some of the things these memorials stand for; I demand they come down!

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    1. Don't say that too loud, someone might take that as a good idea.

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    2. Great and beautiful city to visit. Horrible place to live and work unless you're a parasite or work in the government bureaucracy there (but I repeat myself, and yes I worked for the bureaucracy there). The question "What have you done for me lately?" seems to be a mantra there. Left as soon as I could extract myself from the fecal mire.

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    3. Joe, you're a rabble-rouser. Yes, I like that.

      Juvat - You get it.

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  3. First reaction to the last photo: Battleship Row!

    Second reaction to the last photo, following joeh: Why, three of them were slave holding states! I'm threatened by their white, aggressive, patriarchy power! Tear them down!


    /sigh/
    Such a sad state of affairs when children are allowed to be in charge.

    L.J.

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    1. Roger that L.J., roger that.

      As to the battleship thing, the last time there was a USS Vermont, she was a pre-dreadnought, she was part of Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. The first USS Vermont was a 74-gun sail of the line (which would make her a "line of battle ship," therefore a "battleship") which was laid down in 1818 but not commissioned until 1862 (shades of modern government defense contracting) by which time she was obsolete. Her brief career was as a receiving and stores ship.

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  4. I get the feeling that DC would be a great place... if it wasn't for the people.
    Don't get me wrong.
    I don't mean all of the people.
    The regular visitors to this blog know who I mean.

    I haven't been there since July '57 and most of the folks who had somewhere else to go had already gone.
    It was a nice visit.
    Maybe I will get back there again.

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    1. The Air and Space Museum is worth the visit, both on the Mall and out at Dulles (haven't been to that one yet, but I trust Sarge and my Son's judgement). The National Archive to read one specific document is also worth the visit. Other than that...

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    2. Skip - The casual visitor to DC won't see the people you'd rather not see. Well, not the politicos anyway.

      It's worth a return visit.

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    3. Juvat - Udvar-Hazy is worth running a gauntlet of panhandlers and politicians. (Not repeating myself there, all politicians are panhandlers but the converse is not the case.)

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  5. I have read that the memorial is several soldiers, several Marines. a USN Corpsman, and the guys with the radio are a USAF Forward Controller and his radioman.

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    1. I did not know that. Off to the Research Department I go!

      (That's pretty cool.)

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    2. One of the books on sale at the koreanwarmemorial(dot)org site is titled "Forgotten No More." Oh, boy, there go the tear ducts.

      And the photo of the statues at night, faces in stark shadow and light, is... dark. Horrible. Frightening. Exhaustion, frustration, loss, pain, determination, strength are all seen.

      And the support wall next to it, the story is... powerful. All remember the actual war-fighter. Few remember the support.

      I really have to go see this. This would be worth a day by itself, sitting, watching it change from light to dark.


      You find the most interesting subjects.

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    3. It is worth the trip. We spent a couple of hours there, just sitting.

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    4. Scott - According to the Memorial's website:

      The 19 stainless steel statues were sculpted by Frank Gaylord of Barre, Vt. and cast by Tallix Foundries of Beacon, N.Y. They are approximately 7-feet tall and represent an ethnic cross section of America. The advance party has 14 Army, three Marine, one Navy and one Air Force members.

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  6. Check out this website from the National Park Service. www.nps.gov/kowa/learn/historyculture/index.htm

    Some really powerful letters.

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    1. And at koreanwarvetsmemorial.org/honor-roll/application/ veterans of the three periods of Korean occupation: Pre-war, War, After War, are able to be listed, either by themselves or family.

      Please. If you served in Korea at any time, or have family members who have, please, for our future, send the information in.

      Korea is in the news today. For too long it truly has been forgotten. Please, let it never be forgotten again.

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    2. Wow, I need to check that out. I actually can join the VFW because I served in Korea (that whole armistice not a peace treaty thing).

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  7. Sorry to be a few days late to the party on this one - like many, I have mixed feelings about DC. Flying down the winding Potomac on the southbound approach to DCA, a seat on the left side of the aircraft gives a great view of the impressive architecture and layout of the capital's downtown. It's beautiful, and I can't help but being a bit awestruck and prideful at the testament to our country's industriousness and success. Yet, I also can't help but realize that a part of its impressiveness is its size, and its size is a reflection of the too large government bureaucracy that we have allowed to develop, a feeling that immediately counteracts the feelings of awe and pride.

    Also like many, I love the museums and other spots. Before Udvar Hazy was opened, most of the 'excess inventory' and restoration work was done at the Paul Garber Facility in Suitland. I toured it in 1992, saw them doing the work on the Enola Gay. At one point on the tour, we came into a hangar where a beautifully restored FW 190 was one of the aircraft on display. Our guide, an old 8th Air Force vet in his 80's, told us that a month or so before, he had been leading a tour group that included a distinguished looking older gent who was taking it all in but staying quiet. When they got to the FW 190, this gent got very animated, exclaiming what sounded to the guide like, "Mein Gott, das ist Mein Flugzeug!" So the guide asked him if he was in the Luftwaffe, and he said, "yes, and this is my airplane!" Turns out the plane had been restored to this warrior's squadron markings, and HIS 'tail number' !! The guide asked him if he liked flying the FW 190, and he enthusiastically said he did, that it was a wonderful plane to fight with, and that he had shot down many enemy aircraft using the FW. Of course he quickly clarified that he was posted to the eastern front!! I really enjoyed that story, even if some of it may be apocryphal.

    Last time I was in DC, in August, went on a dinner cruise on the Potomac. Motored upstream and down a couple of times, had great views of the Navy Yard, Admiral's row, Naval Support Facility Anacostia where at least part of HMX 1 is frequently working from, and the NRL, which has always been an impressive facility to me.

    So like a lot of things in life, DC has good parts and bad parts, co-existing like yin and yang. But don't let the bad keep you from enjoying the good. Just exercise good judgement, and don't be in condition white.

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    1. A fine summary of what I like about DC. That last sentence is important.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)