Today really brought home the ultimate picture of service and sacrifice … the laying down of one’s life!
We started the morning heading to Arlington Cemetery
- The Wreath Laying Ceremony
- The Changing of the Guards
- Audie Murphy tombstone – http://www.audiemurphy.com/
- Memorial for U.S.S. Maine
- Memorial for Space Shuttle Challenger
- Memorial for Space Shuttle Columbia
- Memorial for military lives lost attempting to free hostages in Iran
It was a cold windy morning. But the ceremonies are beautiful, sobering and most of all … impactful. 2+ miles
After a brief late lunch at the Pentagon City Mall we took an hour break at the hotel and then headed back out for the Memorials on the Mall.
- Memorial – Nurses Memorial for Vietnam
- Memorial – The Soldiers Overlooking the Vietnam Wall
- Korean War Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
Just for reference – it is 1.6 miles from the Smithsonian Metro to the Lincoln Memorial – add in the stops at the other memorials, then head back to the Metro to head to the hotel … 3.5+ miles
One of my students was going to ride with me over to the Vietnam Memorial which was a special thing for her to be able to do because of her grandfather’s participation in the Vietnam War. We didn’t think it wise for her to walk in the cold wind so we met the team there. It was a very special moment for her and I rode back with her and handed her off to Mrs. Castello. As I rode back to meet the team at the Korean Memorial, the taxi driver asked me what we were doing in D.C. I got to share briefly with him that we came to D.C. to pray for our Nation and get a bigger picture of service and sacrifice. He thought that was amazing. I told him God’s word tells us to pray for those in authority over us so we can live in peace. I shared that we pray that those in every capacity that have the ability to made decisions to sway those that make decisions would listen to Godly counsel and would vote for what was truly good and right and just instead of voting so they will be reelected. “That is wonderful! Yes, that is what we need here!” (I believe he was from Cameroon) As he stopped his car, he stopped the ticket running for my fare then said to me, “This is very important what you are doing. Do these students understand how fortunate they are to be living here? Do they know that in most countries no one would have the right to have a protest just down the street from the leader of the country? They could not be able to challenge him or say horrible things about him. They certainly would not be able to walk away without any fear of being punished. there are very few countries where people could do that. They cannot even write bad things or how they disagree with what the leader is doing. Do they understand? Make sure they understand! Make sure they know that people have died so they have the freedom to do that. That is very important”
I told him I believe they understand in part, but I am praying this trip helps them appreciate even more and not take for granted the freedoms they have. To use those freedoms wisely.
I asked him what we could pray for him for. “For people to want to get along. For people to want peace. For people to be blessed with what their hearts long for”
We can do that.
It was late when we got back and some of the team ordered Pizza and some got McDonald’s down the street. Everyone is packing up for tomorrow. We start are morning early, debrief today, then prayer walk Embassy Rows followed by heading to the airport.
It has been an amazing trip. I am glad we all have Tuesday off – The students don’t have to be back to school until Wednesday. We are tired. But we have been blessed with an amazing trip. A few came on the trip struggling with allergies, etc. and the cold and the allergens up here haven’t helped. But they all have been troopers.
Then, this next weekend we celebrate the greatest gift given to all of us! The gift of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ … dying on the cross, conquering death – rising again on the 3rd day and offering to each of us who will believe in him and receive him as our Lord and Savior … the gift of Eternal Life. That beautiful gift that we cannot earn. ~ The Gospels
Have I told you lately … I love your kid! (So does Mrs. Castello btw) (Insert heart here)
Mrs. G and Mrs Castello