Thursday, August 9, 2007

Washington DC Day 1

I'm in Washington, DC! And I thought it was hot in Tucson. It's 100 degrees here and HUMID! But I went site seeing anyway. First I went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. What can I say, it was very informative and humbling. They take you on a tour through the place with movies, examples of things like Hitler's people burning books, how he came into power and pictures, hundreds of pictures of families and people who were killed. The most disturbing was the train car where they would put up to 100 people in each car, no ventilation, restrooms, no heating or cooling and these cars would sit on the tracks for days at a time. These cars were small and I can't imagine being put in one. Ok - on to something else. A little lighter - I hope.
I saw the Washington Memorial and started walking in that direction. This is like Vegas - objects are further than they appear. I found the monument and got all excited, but you need to get a ticket, they are free, but they were all out. So on to something else. I started out for the Lincoln memorial. Wow that statue is huge. What a nice tribute for such a wonderful President. Then I headed off to see the VietNam Memorial. This was really emotional for me. My brother-in-law's name is on that memorial - Charles Leroy Martin dob August 9, 1949 dod June 16, 1971 his name is on wall 3W - 37th line. He and my sister were married in June 1970, they weren't even married a year when he was killed in Danang. He worked on the flight line and was out on the tarmac when they were attacked and was run over by one of the airplanes. It was a shock to us all when we got the call. My sister was alone with her son Richie when she called mom. My mom and step dad, Tom, were separated at that time and Tom was living across the street in his old house. Karen, my sister called my mom saying that there were two Air Force officers at her house and that Chuck had been killed. They didn't want her to be alone so now my mom was to come over to be with her. I remember my mother screaming into the phone yelling "No, No, oh God, No" then she looked at me and said to go get my dad. I ran across the street in my nightie (it was about 6 am on a Sunday Morning) and banged on the door. I remember my dad answering the door and me telling, no yelling to him that Chuck is dead, Chuck is dead. My dad replied - "Oh God no!" I will never forget that day. I wonder how many other people have a story of a fallen soldier who died in VietNam? I know they are all different, but I know the loss they must have felt, and even feel today. I am glad that there is a monument with his name on it, to show that he died for our freedom, to show that he was someone, that he had a family and people who loved him. It's not been easy for Karen, but she does still get the widow's pension from the government, and got her college education paid for by the government.
Ok on to something a little happier. I walked back to my hotel, people are very happy to help you with directions. The cops are nice, and nice looking if I must say so myself. When I got back to the hotel I noticed that the lobby was filling with Indians, this must mean the Pow Wow is getting ready to start!!! Yipppeee. I can't wait to see the fancy dancers and listen to the music. I'll write more later! Sleep well all!
Kerri Lynn


Summer said...

Hey Momma! Glad to here how you are doing on your adventure!

Twyla said...

Great work.