Sunday, June 21, 2009


I’m sorry I’ve started the last two blogs out with complaining, but my feet DO hurt!!! That’s because we're on the road again in Washington, D.C. I know I wrote about it in an earlier blog, but this one’s sooooo much better. The ‘kids’ got out of the car this time and into the action.

And as always, our road trips can’t start without the signature song or a mishap (you should know that by now). Humor me while I share an important discovery – I shouldn’t be allowed to drink coffee on road trips (do we sense a reoccurring theme here-HA!). Anyway, R. finds us a parking spot and we rush to the nearest restroom, which is at the Jefferson Memorial.

People, Elvis could have been belting out Can’t Help Falling in Love on the steps and I would have whipped by him with barely a nod - that’s how desperate I was (TMI).

Oh, darn it, I just thought of another funny. This one happens in the bathroom. I lay my stylish little number (remember previous blog with my umbrella) on the side of the sink and put my hand under the faucet – it automatically comes on and my purse falls into the sink and gets soaked before I can retrieve it (no need to ask why I’m a writer, stories just happen when I’m around)

Anyway, we leave Jefferson behind and go to the Washington Monument. I can’t believe I’m standing next to something I’ve only dreamt of seeing. The granite exterior glistens in the morning sun and seems so much taller than I imagined. As we turn to leave I catch a glimpse of the White House in the distance. Amazing!

From there we find the Visitor’s Center and the woman gives us a detailed map of the area and our trek around DC continues. Next stop the Renwick Gallery. And you’ll never believe, but the security beeper goes off again. R., do you have to get so up-close-and-personal with the outlandish fish?

The White House looms in front of us and lots of people (some protesters) stand outside the fence. The ‘kids’ ask if they can get their picture taken with the Obama girls, but I tell them they have to settle with one with their dad.

I put the 'kids' away on the way to the next monument. This memorial is the one and only reason I’ve always wanted to visit Washington, DC.

I find their names in the book and we head to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The black granite walls etched with of thousands of names – one name I knew, another from my hometown overwhelms me. Tears spill down my cheeks at the sight of so many lives lost.

James Caniford dated my sister Debbie. Six months later he went over to Vietnam. His plane was shot down and they classified him as missing in action. As a teenager I wore the bracelet with his name on it and held out hope they’d find him. Last year they did – a single tooth found identified him. They brought him home and he is buried at Arlington Cemetery. On another day R. and I will go see if we can find his grave.

Gerald O'Connor is the other name I look up on the wall. I don't know him, but he and his family are a part of my life. The O'Connor family lived in Herington, Kansas and I graduated with one of his brothers.

Thank you both for your sacrifice for your country – and may you rest in peace!!!!

I thought this a fitting way to end for today’s blog. The inscription on the statue reads: What is past is prologue.

Profound words!

The people immortalized in the monuments R. and I saw today began our story – now it’s our responsibility to carry their message of hope to future generations.

Love ya,

PS: As we walked to the car I caught sight of a bus and couldn’t help taking a picture of what was written on the side. This word describes it all.

My feet hurt, but my heart feels so very blessed. I knew we’d walked on hallowed ground.

1 comment:

Annette O'Hare said...

Oh Janetta, your words brought tears to my eyes. I share your feelings about the wall. It would've touched my heart to see such a sentiment to their sacrifice. Thank you for sharing. Also, I have a side trip for you on your next visit to DC. You need to visit the gravesite of Upton Sinclair at Rock Creek Cemetery. Why, I don't know, but he's a famous author, you're gonna be a famous author. I just think it's in your best interest to do it!