When I went to DC a couple weeks ago, I had an experience I knew would be blog worthy. One that filled me with so much emotion, I was overcome.
As you've probably read, the Washington Monument is this strange axis in my life. It's my beacon. It's the first place I run to every time I'm in the city. This last trip was no exception. After driving for a little over 6 hours, it's the first place I went.
Storms were looming. Grey clouds were overhead and the weather forecast warned me it might ruin my plans. I bee lined to the Monument which is always a hodge podge of locals enjoying the fresh air and tourists snapping a zillion pictures. I'm now somewhere in the middle. I know the city *almost* like the back of my hand, yet still have to secretly snap pictures when I can.
I decided not to make the hike all the way to the base of the monument, but sat on a ledge nearby and people watched. I saw kids on field trips, foreigners speaking Italian, French, & Portuguese, and a group of people playing frisbee. None of that stuck out to me as much as this...
A Vietnam Vet, proudly wearing his hat, cruising up the pathway in his power wheelchair, heading to the Washington Monument. I thanked him immediately as he came my way. He was incredibly friendly and complimented me sweetly. As soon as he passed, I burst into tears.
Here I am...sitting in the Nation's Capital, at the base of the Washington Monument, witnessing something that was so powerful to me. I only wish I had one of those amazing SLR cameras. It would have been a picture I would have displayed always, as an important reminder.
Freedom requires a sacrifice. Freedom isn't free. The few who serve pay an incredibly high price. I'm so proud of all of our service men and women.