Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Virginia and Washington DC

Helen and I just returned from Virginia and Washington DC. I am posting a few pictures from the Shenandoah Valley and our capital city.

The Shenandoah River from near the town of the same name.

Helen's brother Richard took us to a wonderful German restaurant in Madison, Virginia

The town of Fredericksburg is full of Revolutionary War and Civil War history and has a very quaint downtown area that was great for walking.

Creative name for a tattoo shop in Fredericksburg

The falls on the Rappahannock River. These rapids limited upstream navigation of ocean-going ships and thus determined the location of Fredericksburg.

I am just fascinated with pre-Revolutionary War history in North America. This sign speaks to events that happened here at the falls.

Our first stop in DC was the Capitol building. We were treated to a tour with one of our congresswomans staff. There is a brand new visitor center that opened last November and it is excellent.

Entrance gallery of the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum.

George Washington's home at Mt. Vernon. I didn't have much interest in going here but Helen wanted to so I tagged along (rather than going to a baseball game at Camden Yards, Baltimore). I was truly impressed with the visit! There was an incredible new museum on the grounds that was superb.

The view of the Potomac River from George Washington's porch. The area across the Potomac in Maryland has been protected to preserve the view-shed. What foresight!

Linda (a friend of mine from Antarctica, 1986) and Helen in rocking chairs looking out over the Potomac from the porch.

John F. Kennedy's grave at Arlington. We were moved by this scene.

The National Park map at Arlington showed that John Wesley Powell was buried here so we hunted for his grave and found it. What a treat.

Ford's Theater in Washington where President Lincoln was assassinated. After seeing a History Channel special earlier this year (on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth), I wanted to visit this place. Like many other visits we had on this trip, there was a newly opened museum beneath the theater.

The Presidential Box where the crime happened.

We cruised by the South Lawn of the White House and took a quick picture. The vegetable garden was very near the fence.

We had great weather and it wasn't hot at all.

Helen at the Lincoln Memorial.

Wow!

He was truly a giant among men. One cannot go to Washington, DC and not feel both pride at our many accomplishments as a nation and shame at our inexcusable failings. Our experiment in democracy has yielded unimaginable wealth - both in spirit and treasure. Yet we have gun-downed some of our most capable and honored leaders. Some of us look at the accomplishments and say, "We have achieved this," while others look at our failings and say, "We must strive harder if we are ever to realize the dream." We have a wonderful heritage, unique and bold. But we only dishonor our forefathers by assuming their gift to us is complete.

7 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Welcome home. What a great trip.

Russell Ownby said...

Interesting that yall saw where JFKs grave was...we just drove by where he was shot last weekend. Had a little history lesson with the kids on the grassy knoll. And to visit the Great John Wesley Powell's resting place...what a treat...Looks like we need to take the family to get some of that East coast history! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Wayne,

Great pictures. Makes me want to go back.

Eluterio

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