Trips and Itineraries for Washington
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Weekend Getaways from Washington
The next morning we headed out to Washington D.C. with a stop in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell in Phili has quite some history behind it so a small layover there was needed. The capital city is mostly white structures that consist of political offices. Seeing the White House was like standing in a movie except that we didn't actually get to see Mr.President.
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Arlington National Cemetery
From there we visited the Arlington National Cemetery. And again, what a somber moment. Americans are truly proud of their country and you can feel it wherever you go around the States. When we arrived at the cemetery, it was “the changing of guard” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The guard is changed every hour on the hour Oct. 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual.
The first stop of the evening was the Capitol Hill. There he showed us the map in front of the Capitol Hill ground. The map resembles an owl, a very powerful symbol of the ancient secret societies. Andy said there are many such symbols that lie in front of everybody’s eyes but people seldom recognize them. He said how the Capitol Hill was built and told us the story that during War of 1812, how British had set fire to the entire city but strangely enough it rained very heavily that night which put out most of the fire. This event gave Americans a lot of hope and they believed that it was some kind of divine intervention and they regrouped and fought back against the British. He also talked about the grass which according to him symbolizes life. Also grass can grow anywhere and it actually grows back again after winters. He also spoke about the three symbols The Capitol Hill, The White house and the Washington monument (which signifies freedom) make three corners of a perfect triangle. As Andrew was overwhelming us with information my friend got busy in taking pictures of the spectacular view of the Capitol Hill under lights.
The White House
After the Iwo Jima memorial the next and final destination of the evening was the much awaited White House. The immaculate ‘White House’ with bright lights and the lawns looked like a dream come true vision. Only regret was could not see Mr. President or first family. With visit to the White house our tour for the evening came to a grand ending. The night tour was worth every cent. It was not only a visual spectacle but Andy our guide also made it special with his humorous and informative narration. Finally, I would recommend the DC by night tour as a ‘must-see’ for anybody visiting Washington DC. This certainly is not the end of the story I have more so stay tuned…
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The next stop was Vietnam War memorial. The memorial has three different parts namely the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The wall had several things (photos, wreaths etc) that were laid at its bottom as a mark of respect for the fallen soldiers by their families and loved ones. I noticed one man breaking down to tears on finding a name on the wall. Andy gave lot information about the memorial and one striking thing was the black marble stones used for the walls were polished at namma Bangalore. At the end of the tour when we were back in the bus, Andy asked us about the thoughts for the Vietnam War Memorial, everyone was quiet. It was very solemn moment. Only thing that was going on in my mind at that moment was “well Bangalore doesn’t export only software engineers to US but also contributed for something very significant to that country’s history”. Of course I did not speak out those words.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Next we walked over to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The United States joined the United Nations forces against Korea in 1950 till 1953. To the men and women who served, the Korean War could never be a forgotten war. It was dead quiet as we wondered around the big statues of the soldiers and I couldn’t even imagine what war must be like. The Korean War Veterans Memorial honors those Americans who have fought and gave their lives for the “cause of freedom”. I personally am not a supporter of ANY war, I think it is pointless and devastating to have families fall apart and loose loved ones, all because of greed, but let’s not get into that!
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
After World War-II memorial next stop was Thomas Jefferson memorial. Before entering the monument Andy our guide showed us a trick with a fork, which he said, was the Thanksgiving treat which he had promised earlier. The Jefferson memorial has the references to the Roman Pantheon and Jefferson’s own design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia.
World War II Memorial
After the spectacular view of the Capitol Hill, the next stop was World War-II memorial. It was a very beautiful place. Andy showed us the two walls leading towards memorial. The two walls signify the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, across which America had fought the war. There were many sculptures embedded in the walls depicting the hard work and toil of the people of America during the war. Andy actually provided us with a whole bunch of information about the memorial. Like, the ‘Freedom Wall’ with 4048 golden stars each of which represented 100 American soldiers who died in war with a message in front of the wall that read “Here we mark the price of freedom”.