Showing Respect in Washington D.C

We got the pleasure of visiting Washington D.C today.  For any person, that should be a super exciting trip (hello, this is where power resides), and for us it was even more exciting since we leave tomorrow to represent this country over in Germany!

A great way to get around, see the sights and not have to find parking!

We had to make this the most fun as possible since we have two small boys, so we opted for the double decker tour bus!  We had so many stops along the way that it is honestly hard to mention all of the places we went to. 

Daddy and Gavin on top of the Double DeckerJames and I on top of the Double Decker...don't you love his lovely expression?

The one that was the most important to us was ‘Arlington Cemetery’.  I don’t think you need to be military in order to realize the significance of this landmark!  There are so many rows upon rows of men and women that have lost their lives, and another12-18 are added each day!

 
Some of the grave sites
We were able to go through and see many of these gravesites.  There is a real honor that goes with being buried here!   All servicemen and women deserve to be respected for their duties, both while they are living and afterwards.  I find it difficult to think about these lost lives because it is honestly a deep down fear of mine (as I am sure it is for all military spouses).  You cannot help but look at these stones and think about the families and loved ones left behind.  Please also note that it is not only American lives lost, there are others who have fought for this country and have lost their lives as well.  I have Canadian friends who serve.  A close friend of mine was able to spend time with her husband during one of his deployments’ R&R, during this time he lost many friends and troops.  One in particular was a father and husband who had just returned to the desert after his R&R, he lost his life on the 4th of July.  I just want to make sure I show respect to not only those buried here, but to ALL servicemen and women who have fought for the rest of us to be safe!
We next stopped along the way at the JFK burial site.  You are to remain silent while you visit this site.  There is a flame that is always burning with the gravestones of JFK, Jackie O, JFK Jr, and their unnamed daughter.  There is a granite wall around the site that contains quotes from famous speeches given by Robert F. Kennedy.
JFK and Jackie .O.

Two seconds later James got yelled at for having his knee on the wall...oops!!! We were more careful after that!!

They cannot leave this tomb for two years. They cannot speak for their first 6 months here. They spend 5 hours getting their uniforms ready each day.

 

They cannot curse or drink alcohol for the rest of their lives. They are on duty 365 days a year for two years. They realize this is the highest honor that can be gifted to a service member!

 

It was a gift to see the lifestyle they live in the name of honor and respect!

 The ‘changing of the guards’ takes place every 30 minutes and continues all through the night, even when people are not there.  They will walk their 21 steps rain or shine, 27 hours a day, 365 days a year!  It is truly remarkable!  After our stop here we took some more pictures and then went to enjoy even more sights in Washington.  We saw so many amazing things that I will just add a few more pics without the talk.  It was a busy day, and we were all beat by the time we got back to the hotel!

Now it is time for bed…tomorrow our 4 year tour in Germany begins! 

If you could say one thing to our servicemen and women, what would it be?

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