Saturday, May 31, 2014

The day of the Memorials

We succeeded in our efforts to get into the Capital Buildings yesterday, no lockdowns and we got there before the visitor's centre opened so the line up was pretty short. We were part of the first tour, first a movie and then we were herded around building by a very forceful tour guide.  She warned us to stay together and one older woman wandered away from the group awhile later and she just lit into her.
This bust of Abe Lincoln was as a model for the sculpture on Mount Rushmore, you can tell because he only has one ear, the other one of course is just part of the mountain. 
The short columns that shore up the capital dome, notice the arches which distribute the weight. 
We were also taken into a room where there were statues from every state.  The only limitation the federal government gave to the states about who they could send a statue of was that the person had to be dead and the statue had to be made out of marble or brass.  
We then had to go to a different place to get into the House of Representatives, we were told we would have to show some ID but the girl giving out the passes was about to make a phone call so she just handed the passes to us, hmmmm!!  Anyway, we rushed in and we hooked up with a group going in, they were all in suits and it ended up they were all army guys from the Pentagon doing some team building exercise.  We rather stuck out in the group, I had on a lime green long sleeved shirt.  One of the fellows with the group said  "I am not going to rat you out but don't do anything to embarrass 
us." Right, with 15 big army guys all around us. When we were leaving and we followed along and 
one astute cop said to us.  "Where do you think you are going?" We made our way back to where we were supposed to be and exited without getting into any more trouble.  
On the way out we met Gus the bomb sniffing dog, just recently returned from Afghanistan.

The weather had turned better so we visited the Lincoln Memorial and the very moving war memorials.
This is actually very impressive when you see it in person.
The Vietnam War Memorial
The very effective Korean War Memorial
Part of the WWII Memorial. This is a tribute to thse who stayed home and fed the country, so good they were included.

We finished off the day at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  It was a very sobering trip as you went in you were given a card about one of the victims. We are supposed to tell her story.  Her name was Olga Geib and she was born on Jan. 26, 1925 in Czechoslovakia.  She was forced to quit school at 14 due to antisemitism and she was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. She was put to work assembling grenades which attempted to sabotage.  She was transferred to Ravensbrueck in 1945 and was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945. There was a photograph of all the hair that was shorn from victims of the Holocaust as they entered the camps in order to intimidate them. It is indescribable how much hair there was, it brought me to tears.