Archived Story

Travelers visit Washington, D.C.

Published 5:00pm Saturday, May 28, 2011

We recently returned from our extensive, nine-day trip to Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area.

Whether a first time visitor or returning, one is still in awe of the great beauty of this area where our nation’s Capitol, our politics, and the White House make their home.

Our historic tour began with a tour of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and Dulles Airport in Chantilly, Va. We saw a large display of aircraft and space aircraft, including space shuttle Enterprise.

A Washington native was our tour guide during our four days in the area, taking us to the sights and memorials, with a lot of destinations new to us.

Our first stop was the Pentagon, headquarters to the U.S. Defense Department, The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force as well about 23,000 government works. There were 184 benches representing those children and adults who died on 9/11 gave us all a somber feeling.

As we continue on to visit the memorial sites of each of the branches of service, and wars fought, our guide would ask each of the veterans on our tour to lead us to the site of his branches memorial. This and many of the places we visited had visitors quietly viewing, many with lumps in their throats and tears in their eyes.

The U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, consisting of the famous statue of the Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima. The Korean War Veterans Memorial honoring the U.S. Armed Forces fighting in the Korean Conflict, featured the words, “Freedom is not Free.”

The Vietnam Memorial is dedicated to the over 58,000 who died in service related to the Vietnam war. Dedicated in 1982 it consists of two highly polished granite walls that meet to form a V. People would find the name of their loved one lost and would place wreaths, photos and spend time at this huge display.

The U.S. National World War II Memorial commemorates all the Americans who fought during World War II. Open in April 2004, pillars of each state and a huge water fountain in the center with two arches surrounding a magnificent plaza mark this memorial.

Our tour to Arlington National Cemetery transported our guests through the cemetery on a Tourmobile with inspirational sights such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A lone sentry keeps constant watch, with a wreath ceremony each half hour. The cemetery also features the enternal flame marking the grave of John F. Kennedy. His brothers, Ted and Robert, are buried on a private ground with a white cross marker.

Washington is not a city of skyscrapers with the highest building being the Washington Monument, standing 555 feet high and named after our nation’s first president.

Next week I will continue to take you along as we continue our visits off our nation’s capitol and many other historic and scenic sites along the way.

Upcoming events

Tuesday: We are departing for our Owatonna tour at 9:30 a.m. from the Wal-Mart parking lot.

June 16: “Guys and Dolls,” at the Ordway Theater in St Paul. There are still openings.

June 29: Minnesota Twins vs Los Angeles Dodgers. Last day to sign up is Thursday.

Note: On travel days our office may not be open. Our phone line is always open. Call 507-438-3946.

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