Archive for February 2012

November 1, 2011 Washington DC Part 6 Lunch Counter, Capital and Oh Harry!   Leave a comment

The Smithsonian is a collection of 19 museums and galleries, 9 research centers, many research programs, and the National Zoo.  Access to most Smithsonian locations  is FREE!  Sign up for the Smithsonian free email newsletters to received information on exhibits and other events during a visit.

Through the Smithsonian newsletter I learned there would be many Civil Rights events over several months in correlation with the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.  I  was SUPER Excited to discover that the Smithsonian would be sponsoring an evening with Harry Belafonte.  He would discuss his role in the 1960’s Civil Rights movement and his new book on the same subject.  The cost of $20.00 per person felt like a bargain considering Patty and I grew up listening to  Harry – long before Disney began using his music in their movies.  Thanks to Bill we have pictures from the book signing  portion of  that event.   

After spending most of the day on the Mall visiting many of the Monuments; we asked a Park Ranger’s suggestion for a restaurant.  On the way to the restaurant we made a quick stop at Smithsonian’s American History Museum, we could only stay a short time because we arrived not long before closing time and didn’t want to be late for our evening with Harry!

 F.W. Woolworth Lunch Counter

The Facts:  February 1, 1960 4 students staged a peaceful sit-in because they did not accept the ‘normal’ segregation treatment that was common in the south.  Students, civil-rights organizations churches and community members joined in a six-month-long protest and boycott.  July 25, 1960 segregated lunch counter ended. 


 Sunset on the Capital. 

 Patty (my sister) and Ken with Capital in the background. I tried to capture the sunset in the background I envisioned a bright Captial – not the shot I had in mind but wanted to share a picture of our travel buddies.


Oh Harry – yep Patty and I – yep me start struck!

 Patty and Harry

 EPA: I work in Environmental Engineering Dept. this office was near our metro station. I had to take a picture since this agency is indirectly responsible for me having a job.

 NEXT: November 2, 2011  Ben’s Chili, separate interests & monuments at night.


Posted February 20, 2012 by cjaaron1 in Uncategorized

November 1, 2011 Washington DC Part 5 Martin Luther King, Jr and Jefferson Memorial   Leave a comment

Unless you know a Washington insider, take advantage of  an organized tour at the beginning of your trip.  I used to think – why spend the money when I can figure it out.  Now I say why miss out when tour guides are trained to know the scoop.  Cousins provided that insider tour on our first visit to Washington DC many years ago that included dinner and a night tour of Washington’s monuments, a unforgetable memory.  I was hooked; the beauty, the history and the moving visions of our nation’s capital. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

The Stone of Hope

 Fun Facts:  The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is the 4th non-President non-war memorialized on the mall (John Ericsson Memorial, John Paul Jones Memorial and George Mason Memorial). The Stone Of Hope includes an impressive 30 foot tall statue of Dr. King. The street address of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial is 1964 Independence Ave. honoring the 1964 Civil Rights Act.   



Jefferson Memorial:

Fun Fact:  Modeled after the Parthenon. The monument’s style was inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s architectural taste.  Construction of Jefferson Memorial was completed 1943.  Originally a plaster statue of President Jefferson adorned this monument because World War II was in progress and all metals were going towards the war effort.  The plaster President Jefferson was replaced with the planned bronzed statue in the spring of 1947.


 Next:  Capital, Greensboro Lunch Counter, and an evening with Harry!

Posted February 18, 2012 by cjaaron1 in Uncategorized

November 1, 2011 Washington DC Part 4 Korean War Memorial   Leave a comment

When visiting Washington DC there are Park Service employees throughout the Mall area.  Have a question, ask a Park Ranger.  They are helpful and obviously have a great deal of pride in their position as ambassador to our Nation’s Monuments and the history they represent.

Korean War Memorial:

Still on Patrol

Fact: The 42nd anniversary of Korean Armistice that ended the Korean War, President Clinton and Kim Young Sam, President of Republic of Korea dedicated The Korean War Veteran’s Memorial.   19 stainless-steel statues patrol the grounds of this memorial


Reflections Of The Past

Fact: Black, polished granite etched mural is based on photographs of unknown American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.  It reflects 19 stain-less steel statues that remain on patrol.

Then and Now –  Stain-less Steel Soldier on  Patrol with Honor Flight Participants Visiting THEIR Memorial

Fact: Since it’s inception Honor Flight Network has brought more than 81,000 veterans (at no cost to the veteran) to visit the memorials built in their honor; World War II, Korean War and Veit Nam


Next: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jefferson Memorial

Posted February 17, 2012 by cjaaron1 in Washington DC

November 1, 2011 Washington DC Part 3 Penny Man   Leave a comment

When visiting Washington DC take advantage of their great public transportation.  No need to pay higher prices for hotels or pay to park a car.  We stayed in Alexandria VA a couple of blocks from a station and we had access to everything we wanted to see.  There are very helpful attendants at the stations if you have questions.   



Bill and The President (President Lincoln that is)

Fun Fact:  There are 87 steps from the Reflecting Pool  87 = 4 score + 7. 


 President Lincoln from the North Chamber

Fun Fact:  36 Columns representing the 36 states at the time of Lincoln’s death.


President Lincoln was a tall man but I will always remember him as a leader that was unafraid of controversy.

Fun Fact: The monument is 99 feet tall. The sitting President is 19 feet tall from head to foot.  If this President Lincoln were standing he would be 28 feet tall.

President Lincoln contemplative repose.

Fun Facts:  President Lincoln statue weighs a mere 175 short tons or 350,00 pounds (short ton = 2,000 pounds).

Scary Lincoln

Fun Fact:  Inscription over Lincoln’s Head: 

                      “IN THIS TEMPLE
                      AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
                      FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
                      THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
                      IS ENSHRINED FOREVER.”

NEXT:  Korean War Memorial

Posted February 17, 2012 by cjaaron1 in Uncategorized

November 1, 2011 Washington DC Part 2 Vietnam War Memorial   Leave a comment

When visiting Washington DC, make sure you have comfortable shoes.  Most everything is in walking distance so you will be walking and walking and walking!

Vietnam War Memorial:

Vietnam Women’s Memorial: Dedicated November 1993 (our first visit to Washington DC) … Historically, women who have served humanity during America’s struggles and wars are not included in the artistic portrayals.  They slip into history unrecognized and forgotten, compounding the myth that either they did not serve or their service was not noteworthy.  They, too, had disappeared off the landscape of the Vietnam era… 

Just the Facts: More than 265,000 women served in Vietnam, 87% served as nurses, 8 women lost their lives in Vietnam and are listed on The Wall with the fallen men, Less than 24% of our injured soldiers died in Vietnam resulting in 350,00 injuries and 75,000 with permanent disabilities. 



Three Service Men: “The portrayal of the figures is consistent with history. They wear the uniform and carry the equipment of war; they are young. The contrast between the innocence of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice. There is about them the physical contact and sense of unity that bespeaks the bonds of love and sacrifice that is the nature of men at war. And yet they are each alone. Their strength and their vulnerability are both evident. Their true heroism lies in these bonds of loyalty in the face of their aloneness and their vulnerability.”


Looking for Names: the Memorial is dedicated to the 2.7 million men and women in the U.S. military who served in the designated war zone.

Just the Facts: 58,272  listed include the dead and  missing (MIA, POW and others). 

An Opinion:  It’s amazing to me that we would ever go into war with another country after seeing this graphic depiction of  loss of life. It is estimated that in all more than 5.4 million lost their lives in the Vietnam War.  We didn’t learn!


Learning our history:  I was standing next to this group when they came upon the wall.  I didn’t see but could hear one of the girls “This is stupid, why are we here, what’s this all about.  Oh!  All those people died?”   I felt so many emotions, anger, sad, then pride when she ‘got it’. 

Just the Fact: Vietnam War Memorial has about 3 million visitors each year.


Have we forgotten the price of war already?  Will these school aged children know life without war?


NEXT: President Lincoln




Posted February 16, 2012 by cjaaron1 in Uncategorized

November 1, 2011 Washington DC Part 1 Washington Monument, White House, WWII Memorial, Captial Squirrel and Constitution Garden Lake   Leave a comment

So many monuments, not enough time!


Washington Monument:  On our visit the Washington Monument was closed down because of the ongoing inspection for Earth Quake damage. 

Fun Fact:  56 flags surround the Washington Monument 1 for each state (50), 1 for Washington DC (51) and 5 representing the US territories (56). 


White House:  “Live From the White House” an event to allow local reporters to interview President Obama and access to cabinet secretaries.

Fun Fact:  Uniformed Officers that patrol the White House Complex; the vice president’s residence; the Department of the Treasury (as part of the White House Complex); and foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C., are members of United States Secret Service Uniformed Division.  Another Fun Fact:  March 1, 2003 Secret Service was moved from the Treasury Department to be managed by Department of  Homeland Security. 


World War II Memorial:  Located not far from the Washington Monument and opened in 2004 with 56 (17 feet tall) granite pillars and two 43 foot arched pillars

Fun Fact:  Two “Kilroy was here” images are engraved inconspicuously in the memorial.

The Freedom Wall:  Contains 4,048 stars representing 100 fallen American soldiers per star. 

Not So Fun Fact:  World War II losses are second only to the Civil War which we lost over 620,000 lives.

And Now For Your Viewing Pleasure:

Capital Squirrel: 

Fun Fact:  In 1980 the National Parks Service commissioned a study to find the location with the most  Grey Squirrels;  Washington DC. Lafayette Park  (park across from the White House). 

Constitution Garden Lake:  A 50 acre park that was dedicated in 1976 as an American Revolution Bicentennial Tribute.

Fun Fact: On the island in this pond is a sculpture dedicated to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence (dedicated July 1982)

NEXT:  November 1, 2011 Part 2 The Wall, President Lincoln, Korean War Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted February 14, 2012 by cjaaron1 in Uncategorized

October 31, 2011 Enjoying Virgina, Hapers Ferry to Gettysburg   Leave a comment

When I woke up I headed outside with camera and tripod.  I was not disappointed by the light or color reflections (just a little surprised when I discovered that I had locked myself out of our hosts house; quickly became grateful that Bill decided to get up early too so I wouldn’t have to ring the door bell waking anyone sleeping until a reasonable hour). We always have a great time when visiting Bob and Nancy and their corner of Virgina.  Learning something new about the history of their area which in turn renews our interest in the history our nation, our founding fathers, and this visit was all about the Civil War sites. 

After breakfast we drove the surrounding countryside with a stop here and there so I could take pictures.  Harper’s Ferry was our first official stopping place.  Oh my, we walked the same paths great men of yesterday walked; George Washington, John Brown, General Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Meriwether Lewis to name a few.  Next we stopped at Gettysburg.  I was mighty disturbed thinking about the number of lives lost on those battlefields/killing fields.  I remember Bill asking several times, if I wanted to take pictures of this or that and I always said no.  So many wrongs in an attempt to make things right and when it really came down to the laws that were passed at the time;  human rights were still not equal nor just. 

After viewing my photos of October 31, I realize that I had not taken a single picture while at Gettysburg. After another wonderful dinner we headed back to Alexandria.  The remainder of our trip would be spent visiting Washington DC and her monuments.

Virgina’s Sunrise


Sunrise reflections of color (Mt. Weather colors provided by nature not computer enhanced)

Harper’s Ferry

Confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church built in 1883 and renovated from psuedo-Gothic to the current Neo-Gothic style in 1896

Next: Washington DC Days and Nights

Posted February 5, 2012 by cjaaron1 in Uncategorized