Thursday morning we headed back into DC to visit some more sights. Our first stop was the US Navy Memorial. They have a really neat fountain surrounded by plaques. Inside the visitors center were more displays and a listing of Navy Veterans. Rudee looked up the name of her Uncle and found not only his information but also his photo. During WWII Uncle Harry was on the USS Gendreau off the coast of Okinawa when the ship was hit by artillery shells. Harry and another sailor were both killed in the attack. Harry was Rudee's Mom's brother, we took some photos of the listing as well as the Memorial to share with her.
Our next stop was the National Law Enforcement Memorial where the names of police officers killed in the line of duty are listed in the same manner as the veterans are listed at Viet Nam Memorial.
I found the names of two friends listed there. Mike Greene was a State Trooper assigned to our county and was shot and killed during a traffic stop one afternoon. I was working that day and had talked to Mike less than 2 hours before he died :-(.
Gary Dudley was another State Trooper who was killed during a fund raising bicycle ride. He worked in the Indianapolis area but since we were so close (and so nice) he would sneak up our way to share a meal with us. :-)
I was pretty disappointed in the Memorial overall. There is a water fall type feature in the middle that was almost empty of water and the whole place looked unkempt and dreary. There was a sign that showed a visitors center was located nearby but when we went to the intersection all we found was a Subway restaurant :-(.
We walked back towards the Capitol Building and then visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History before calling it a day.
Friday, starting out a little later in the day, we rode the subway to Arlington Cemetery and viewed the changing of the guard. Quite an impressive ceremony as well as a very solemn place. If you ever start taking your freedom for granted just visit this place and see all the grave stones of the men and women who sacrificed for all of us.
I wanted to see the sights of DC at night so we booked an evening Segway tour. This is Rudee getting some training on how to "drive" one of these things.
They work by sensing your shifting weight. Lean forward and you go forward, back and you go backwards. The hard part is finding the "happy medium" when stopping. We had about 10 minutes of instruction and practice before our tour "hit the streets". There were 9 of us including our guide Grace, whose parents had moved to Avon, Indiana where my brother is a fireman. Small world moments are pretty cool! :-)
We scooted along doing our best to stay out of the way of traffic and ended up at our first stop.
Now, in order to get off a Segway and it not keep going you have to pull it into a curb (or similar) to "chock" the wheels. Once you are stopped you step off quickly. Getting back on is just the reverse of parking except backing up is a little more difficult plus you have to make a turn. We both got parked just fine and took some photos. Grace even took our photo with the White House in the background.
Now comes the hard part, getting back on. Rudee did fantastic, me not so good :-(. I'm sure the Secret Service got a good laugh when that little scooter threw me off and I ended up on my big old butt right in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue! :-) I ended up with a bloody knee and scraped elbow not to mention a huge bruise to my ego! Oh well, gracefull I'm not! :-)
We made stops at the Capitol building, Washington Monument, Martin Luther King Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. I did manage to get off and back on safely the rest of the evening but I noticed everybody else kept their distance every time I tried. :-)
Here are a few more photos of our day.
We enjoyed our time in DC and would like to return since there is so much to do in the area. We are heading to Pennsylvania for our sons wedding next week. I'll keep you posted.