Never forget -- that was the theme of our morning in D.C., as we toured America's wars in monument form. We started at the Lincoln Memorial, with the Civil War. The girls name the Lincoln Memorial as their favorite monument, even beating out the Washington Monument. Zoe read the entire Gettysburg Address carved into the wall, and I was struck by Lincoln's surety that the words he spoke there would not be long remembered, and here we were 150 years later reading them.
The World War II Memorial is resplendent, elaborate -- a tribute to a great generation. But it seemed to glorify that war in a way not entirely appropriate -- a war to end all wars that didn't. The Vietnam War memorials seemed to set the right tone -- war has a human cost that mustn't be forgotten.
The Women's Memorial for Vietnam Veterans clearly showed that cost of war, with the women ministering to a wounded soldier. How is it that the women's memorial has to have a man in it?!
The wall of names that is the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial is always moving and chilling, the starkest reminder of the cost of war. It couldn't spell out plainer, "Never forget."
We spent the afternoon wearing ourselves out at the Smithsonians. We only managed two today -- American History and Natural History. The girls named as their favorite for the American History Museum the First Lady dresses -- one of my favorites, too. For the Natural History Museum it was a toss-up between the Ocean Life exhibit and the rocks and minerals exhibit.
And of course, a large part of what made it so much fun for the girls was spending it with Aunt Kim and Uncle Brian!
Tomorrow, first stop, the panda exhibit at the zoo!