Greetings all! Hope you all enjoyed your holiday today. Normally, I just view Memorial Day as another Monday to sleep in, watch daytime TV, hang with friends, go shopping, etc, BUT this year, I am spending the holiday weekend in our nation's capital. As a result, Memorial Day is a little more special this year as I really got to spend some time to honor those that have served and are serving for us.
It's been awhile since I played tourist in DC so on Saturday, my mom and I braved the sunny heat to explore the National Mall. Holy crap - that place is huge! I mean, I knew it was BIG, but I really had no idea how friggin' long the mall is. Here's a pic for your reference (click to view the large version):
At one end is the US Capitol and at the other end is Lincoln Memorial - they are ~2 miles apart!!! We entered at the metro stop which is at about the halfway point and worked our way to old Abe.
We first stopped at the Washington Monument. It's pretty tall (ha).
Then we spent some time at the World War II Memorial which was actually quite nice because there were a lot of veterans there and a lot of people were taking the time to shake their hands and thank them for what they did.
We walked all the way past the reflecting pool (where I kept thinking about Forrest Gump yelling out to Jenny) and finally made our way to the Lincoln Memorial.
Here's a view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Far, huh?
We also viewed the Vietnam Memorial... sad to see how many names were listed.
All in all, it was a nice afternoon to remember those that we have lost and to appreciate the wonderful country that we live in.
On a running-related note (as this is a running blog, right?), I was really impressed with the number of runners I saw out there battling both the heat and the number of tourists as they ran around the mall. It was at least in the mid-80s with large sections with no shade at all! While we were walking around, I actually overheard a lady behind me complain about the runners interfering with the tourist paths. Which I thought was really funny because right before I heard her say that, I, myself, was thinking wow - what a great place to run! This is a perfect four mile loop with lots of great people watching! Ah well, obviously she wasn't a runner.
Anyway, we headed back to DC again today to watch the Memorial Day parade. And wow, that was a long-*ss parade - two hours to be exact! But it was nice because at the halfway point, we all took a moment of silence to honor those that we have lost. It was also nice because we got to honor and thank those that are currently serving. Here are some picture highlights that hopefully you will enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: Even after spending a good amount of time on Wikipedia and Google, I'm still kind of confused about all the armed forces. So if I messed up any of the titles below, please let me know and I'll correct them. Also, if anyone has a simple explanation of the difference between the army and the marines, please let me know that, too. :)
Oh, and look, Gary Sinise was one of the honorary marshalls!
Well, that's all for now. Cleveland Half Marathon race report coming soon... (quick teaser: I did NOT get a personal worst. YAY FOR ME!)
Hope you all had a good holiday weekend!