On our first day in DC, we spent a lot of our time going to the war memorials. At the World War II Memorial, the fountains were very loud and drowned out any sounds people were making. Which allowed you to look around, sit with your feet cooling off in the fountain, and think about WWII, those that died, and what we can do today to prevent that sort of thing from happening again.
But in the other memorials, there weren't such big, large, and loud fountains. In the Lincoln Monument, people were incredibly loud, even though there were several signs asking for quiet in respect. And I knew that Martin Luther King Jr. had stood on the steps and had given his "I have a dream" speech there. Come to find out, they have it marked on the steps. But there were so many people sitting on them, it would have been impossible to find. At the Korean War memorial, people were not quiet either. As I was walking through it, I was thinking about my grandpa, and wondered why he made it through when so many others didn't. And how grateful I was that he did make it. At the Vietnam War memorial, there was finally some reverence and respect. And even though I didn't know anyone personally that died in that war, it was still an emotional walk though it.
My friend that lives in DC had suggested that when we don't have our kids, to go to the Holocaust museum they have there. She thinks it is the best museum in DC. But one time that she went, there were these kids there on a field trip. They were laughing and giggling and making "funny" comments about "how skinny" the people had been and some other comments that were completely inappropriate. She was incredibly angry that these kids hadn't been taught about what it was about and were told how you behave in such a place.
That is kind of how I felt going through the memorials. I was a little ticked off. And even though I much prefer to do those kind of things in the summer because I love to be warm, I almost would rather be there in the winter when there aren't as many people and you have an opportunity to really think about things, read a little bit of what they have on the walls, and take some time to remember those that gave their lives.
I will be teaching my children, to the best of my ability, the proper respect and reverence to give to these sorts of things. They are little now, but if I start now, it might get through to them. And perhaps being in the military, and knowing so many people that have been and will be deployed might help them to understand how much people gave in those wars. And not just war memorials, but cemeteries, cathedrals, and those kind of places where respect and reverence should be expected.
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