Friday, April 26, 2013

Arlington National Cemetery

On a Sunday afternoon, we had the bright idea to go to Washington D.C. to see the Cherry Blossoms in bloom. So did everyone else in a hundred mile range! Heavy traffic and confusing signage prevented us from getting into the Tidal Basin area, so we revised  our sight-seeing destination.
Spring was definitely in the air. It turned out that the cherry blossoms didn't actually bloom until a day or two after our trip but many other kinds of trees were in full bloom and gorgeous to look at.
This cemetery is visited by walking in. It is like a park in some ways. It was very busy with visitors walking in the sunny yet cool spring air.
Like almost all of the guests, we headed uphill to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This spot is really elevated and a vista of Washington, D.C. can be seen from this height.

It was a treat to experience the quiet solemnity of the tomb and we explained to the kids what is represented by the honor given to these soldiers' ( one from every recent war) remains.
We also saw the marble amphitheater used for the funerals of Dignitaries.

It was a pleasure to share this day with Meg and Jon and the grandchildren.

Before we left the city, I insisted that we try one more time to get to the area where the Japanese Cherry Trees and the monuments are located. The traffic was at a stand still! Bicyclists had the best advantage but that looked quite dangerous with so many cars about.
In this picture, Larry is knocking on the side of a very large tour bus that was determined to nudge its way ahead in traffic. It was sooo close to us that we were glad that we were in such a large and sturdy vehicle.
It was very scary and I was glad that I was sitting in the last seat in the back on the side where the bus was trying to run over our vehicle! I would have been loosing it if one of the kids had been in that seat. At that point we were done with visiting the big city. Being stuck in traffic caused our large van to overheat and almost caused a breakdown ( we thought it might explode!!!). By God's grace, we were able to get safely home with our 10 passengers. When we got home, It was a joy to be back in a small town. Ironically, we could easily see that our blooming trees here were just as pretty  as anything there!