Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

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.



Hello Abe!



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. :)

ARMY


AIR FORCE


MARINES


NAVY


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!

16 comments:

Jamie said...

Sounds like a great way to spend the memorial weekend. Great pics! Too funny about that tourist comment about runners... definitely not a runner!

D10 said...

Looks like you had a nice weekend. Great pictures. Can't wait to read the race report.

Mica said...

Aww, you're over on the East Coast! I love the Mall in D.C.! What a great way to spend your Memorial Day!

Alisa said...

So cool! I heart DC! I lived there for a little while.

Lincoln Memorial was my alltime favorite spot in DC. You can see so much from there.

Marcy said...

Ooooooo looks like a fabulous weekend! Awesome pics too, chica! Very nice. And CONGRATS on not PW-ing on the half LOL

Ryan said...

Wow, all I did was work in the yard this weekend. Your holiday was way better.

Aaron Cunningham said...

Sounds like a fun trip. Looking forward to the race report.

Short, relatively simple armed forces explanation:

Air Force controls land based fixed wing aircraft (transports, fighters/fighter-bombers, bombers) and nuclear missiles.

Navy controls ships, sea based fixed wing aircraft, and submarines (attack and nuclear missile)

Army is the land based ground combat force, infantry, armor(tanks), artillery, and helicopters, and is the largest of the branches.

Marines are closely associated with the Navy, and have amphibious assault as one of their primary roles. The Marine Corps as an 'infantry' based service like the Army has it's own infantry, armor, artillery, as well as helicopters, and some attack aircraft. It's a long sordid history. :) Considered to be more elite as a branch than the Army.

Hope that helps. (Former Army guy)

Cindy said...

ohh looking forward to your race report!
i don't know how anyone can run in 80 and don't even get me started about humidity. i think that's why i was sedentary for so many years!

Tara said...

great pics! looks like a lovely way to spend the long holiday weekend :)

Nitmos said...

Avoiding PW's, always nice!

Kristin said...

Yeah, basically the Marines are an "infantry" (the guys who fight on the ground) division of the Navy while the Army is it's own thing. Looks like you had fun!

healthy ashley said...

How appropriate to be in DC on Memorial Day! And the Mall IS huge! I walked it last December when it was so cold out and raining.. ugh!

Marathon Maritza said...

How awesome!! Glad you had a great trip!

I went to DC for the first time last year and loved it! Great Mall is such an awesome place to run!

Love the pics! Can't wait to hear about the race!

RoadBunner said...

I love DC. Was there in Sept 2007 and the heat was still oppressive! Very sad I never got to go for a run at The Mall. I feel like May was "Where in the World is Audrey?" month.

Sarah said...

I really need to get out to DC one of these days. Great photos! Thanks for sharing :)

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