Monday, May 9, 2011

Washington D.C. Memories

On Thursday morning we will be leaving very early to drive to Washington D.C. to meet our 2 younger Michigan daughters.  ( And Daughter # 2's boyfriend)  It is a much shorter drive for us, about 6 hours versus their 12, so we will take in some sights along the way.   Right now it looks like Fredricksburg, Va. going and then Richmond, Va. on the way back home.  I am a history nut so all this Civil War stuff is plentiful here in the south.

I just realized as I started writing this, that the first time we took the girls, they were 6 and 8.  Today they are 26 and 28. 

This is Terry trying to explain the Vietnam Memorial to 2 little girls.  Sadly they would grow up with their friends fighting their own war. 
When were were there, years later, there was an exhibit in The American History Museum of all the things left at The Wall.  Packs of cigarettes, a battered Army helmet, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a can of Budweiser beer, a yellowed snapshot of a teenage boy in uniform, standing with his buddy, in a jungle
This photos shows Terry looking at The Wall offerings from these years. Everyone  of those things has it's own story to tell. 


Vietnam strongly influenced the music I was listening to.  From Country Joe and the Fish's famous song sung at Woodstock " Fixin to Die"  rag  to  John Lennen's "Imagine".  My personal experience was a navy blue t-shirt with an American flag printed in the shape of a dove on the chest that said "Let It Be".
I wore it to death.  Most of the dove print had cracked and flaked off.  I loved that shirt.

This is an excerpt from  "Fixin to Die"  by Country Joe and the Fish.         I won't post the YouTube video because there is a "naughty" word in it that I will admit, I  sang loud and proud, back in the day.
                                            
Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

So that is one of my many Vietnam memories triggered by our upcoming trip to Washington D.C.  I'm sure there will be other memories popping up as the days go by.

7 comments:

(Florida) Girl said...

I think it is amazing how traveling can be such an introspective experience. Enjoyed this look back.

edshunnybunny said...

I'd love to see the Vietnam Memorial since I knew many who fought there. The museum sounds interesting. Fortunately, nobody I know died in the war.

I remember my hubby-to-be singing that song by Country Joe and the Fish--while he was in the army! Meanwhile, I sang "Soldier Boy". LOL

I really enjoyed your random thoughts a couple of posts back. I'm with you on there being more commercials and less programming these days!

Gran said...

I was in D.C. a few years ago, for a work conference, and did not get to see the Viet Nam memorial. Bummer. Nice to read about your memories!

Intense Guy said...

Of all the war memorials in DC - I think the Vietnam one is the most most moving, most intense, most spiritual and ... and so remarkable as it is so simple. The stark shining black rock with the rows of engraved names is so haunting it speaks to people.

The park at Fredricksburg leaves one simply perplexed by the "senseless" slaughter that occurred there - I too, am a Civil War history "nut" and I am forever left speechless by the amount of walking the soldiers did - and how after 10-20 and even 30 mile forces marches carrying heavy guns and supplies, the soldiers would be thrown into the fight without pause.

I walked from Harper's Ferry, West Virginia to Antietam, Maryland one summer weekend, carrying nothing but water and a road map - and arrived at the Sharpsburg battlefield far to weary to stand up - let alone fight for three or four hours.

Our ancestors were a very hardy lot.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Have a great trip! We have seen the traveling exhibit of the Vietnam wall..but we would both like to see the real thing someday and spend about a week at the Smithsonian! I love History too..but our history in the area is very limited:)

Kathy said...

Wow. Harper's Ferry to Antieham!! I'm amazed Intense Guy. I have walked Gettysburg and have a diffcult time wrapping my brain around the losses in such unbeievably high numbers. It breaks my hear to think of these parks and fields being "paved over to put in a parking lot" as Joni Mitchell would say.

I love D.C. for families... Monuments and Memorials and it's all free.

Corker2 said...

Noticed you enjoy History. Me too, as you might have noticed in my Blog. Would like to see Washington some day. Have been to a number of Civil War sites, but never had a DSLR Camera then. Will try and visit Gettysburg again.

Being a US Navy Vietnam Vet, I can still remember many things I've done and seen while over there. Would like to see the Vietnam Memorial someday. A Police Action that was never declared a War.

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