Practically everywhere we traveled in Washington D.C. on Monday, you could see the Washington Monument a 555 foot obelisk that was built between 1848 and 1884 as a memorial to the first President of the United States, George Washington. It is the tallest free standing masonry structure in the world.
Being at the World War II Memorial reminded me of my Uncle William Woolum. He died in the Pacific Theater during the war. Here is some information about him.
William E. Woolum
Entered the Service From: Idaho
Rank: Machinist's Mate, Third Class
Service: U.S. Navy, United States Naval Reserve
Died: Saturday, October 07, 1944
Memorialized at: Manila American Cemetery
Location: Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
Awards: Purple Heart
I didn't know he was memorialized in the Philippines. I also didn't remember he had been awarded the Purple Heart.
I remember it was very hard for my Grandma Woolum to lose her son in the war. This monument is a beautiful tribute to the men and women who fought in this war.
As you enter the Vietnam Memorial, you see this statue, representing the men who fought in the war.
I had always heard the Vietnam Memorial Wall was a very emotional experience. There were many people there wiping their tears, and making a pencil etching of the names. Many flowers were left on the wall, and other mementos.
Frank S. Reasoner was from Kellogg, and I went to school and graduated from Kellogg High School with his son. Frank Stanley Reasoner was an officer of the United States Marine Corps who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War.
The Korean War Memorial, to me, was hauntingly beautiful. As you enter the memorial, the following words are engraved in stone...
Our nations honors our sons and daughters who answered a call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met. 1950 Korea 1953
The middle picture shows one section of the wall where faces of the Korean War are etched in the stone.
The bottom picture is also at the Korean War Memorial. I love this picture of this young boy licking the ice cream cone, and the words behind him.
The Lincoln Memorial is very impressive. You climb the front stairs and come into the monument, and find this statue of Lincoln. The words of the Gettysburg Address are on one wall, and his second inaugral address is on the other wall. I love his final words of this speech, and they are very relevant for today as well.
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
I don't think I have ever heard of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. It was beautiful, and had many wonderful quotes from FDR, including the one above. Again, words we should be reminded of today. It showed many depictions of the poor and oppressed and how FDR wanted to help these people. And also the effects of the war, and how it turned the world upside down.
Our final stop was the Jefferson Memorial. Inside is a statue of Thomas Jefferson, and the Declaration of Independance is engraved on the walls.
As we visited each of these memorials, the message I received was that war is not a good thing. Yes, the men and women who fought in the many wars for our country made a hugh sacrifice, but war itself is horrible. The loss of all those thousand and thousands of lives was a great loss for our country.
Can we not learn from our past? Why must we continue the same course time and again?
I often wonder if our congressmen ever take the time to visit these memorials while they are here representing us in the nation's capital. If not, they should. These memorials remind us of many things, and tell many stories, stories they need to see and read.
I don't think our country should make room for any more memorials.
They just need to learn from the ones we already have in place.