Posted by: didyouseethis | June 22, 2007

What I did on my summer vacation…Day 2 (finally)

We had three main objectives this trip. The first was Arlington National Cemetery. We’d come to find the resting place of a local Marine KIA last June. I had the section and grave number, all that remained was to find it amongst the rows and rows of identical markers. I had never met this Marine. DH, having worked with his uncle had. It was hot that day (though not as hot as the places so many of these heroes have served in) and by the time we found the site, we were dripping. We stood there looking at the mementos left by friends and family…flowers, a balloon, an angel, a bottle of Jagermeister, a painted stone, a glass wafer. There is an enormity about Arlington, even if you don’t personally have anyone buried there…my mind started a word association of sorts…somber, indebted, faith, respect, reverence, honor, dedication, love, tears. I looked at the rows of markers, the names, the dates…I thought about lost loves, lost dreams, promises made and kept, honor given. And mostly how small I felt standing there. We left a stone, in the shape of Ohio, with the words Semper Gratis written on it. Rest in peace Sgt. Smykowski.


We had originally intended to spend a longer time at Arlington. As much as I hate to admit it, the heat was really getting to me so we decided to go back to the car and find our way to the United States Marine Corps Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial.



This place too, is powerful. Most people are familiar with the famous photograph. I knew the monument was larger than life size. But…as we approached and I aimed the camera I didn’t know I would get a photo that would show how much larger than life…



The second objective of the trip was the Friday night FReep at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. For 114 weeks, the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic has been counter-protesting the anti-war group CodePink (no linky for them). While they claim they “support the troops”…a bit of investigation will prove otherwise. The Freepers are some of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. I can’t think of anywhere I’ve ever gone and been so completely and immediately welcomed.


Neither rain nor snow nor torrential downpours will keep the FReepers from their self-appointed rounds . The rain did end and a fine FReep was had by all.


“Our corner” for the evening, photo courtesy of Mrs Trooprally.


DH and Freeper Buford P… who spent a good part of the evening attempting to get me to understand just a smidgin of HTML. (Y’all can stop laughing now.)

End of day 2…

Love, Mom









  1. You know what might be a good demonstration to arrange?

    How about a “counter-protest” at local recruiting stations?

    Just a thought, y’all…

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