Memorial Day in Washington DC

Arlington National Cemetery Washington DC

Arlington National Cemetery Washington DC

This week during the Memorial Day weekend, my wife and i had a very good time roaming the streets of Washington DC and visiting its famous landmark buildings and memorials. On the Memorial Day May 25th 2015, we started our morning by visiting the Arlington National Cemetery and paying our homage to the thousands of martyr American soldiers, who sacrificed their lives in various wars across the globe, including the two World Wars and Vietnam War. Check the photos of memorials including World War 2 Memorial here.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Washington DC

On the Way to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

It was a very thoughtful morning for us. There were friends and families of dead soldiers who had come to the cemetery to remember their loved ones. Though it was a clear bright day, there were tears flowing somewhere all around us that morning. Seeing the final resting place of over 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families, i could not help thinking the relevance of wars. Some say war brings peace. Some say war is waged to punish the ills flourishing around us. Some see war as a necessary evil to boost up the local defense manufacturers and garner electoral support. For me, the truth is that war is the darkest period of any country’s history where so many lives are lost, be it the home country or the opponent’s.

Arlington National Cemetery Washington DC

Honor Guards for the President at the Arlington National Cemetery Washington DC

American President Barack Obama was also present there, laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington National Cemetery. Though we could not reach the Tomb on time, along with hundreds of people we waited outside the Tomb in the Cemetery to catch a glimpse of him. And we did see him waving to the people from inside his car. I am not sure what thoughts must have passed in his mind remembering thousands of soldiers dead in so many wars. However, i am quite certain that the man (and not the politician) of his stature and repute would never want a war.

President Barack Obama Motorcade

President Barack Obama Motorcade

After a morning with heavy heart, in the late afternoon, we decided to catch the fresh air in the beautiful old area of Georgetown in Washington DC. It is a very nice laid-out suburb of DC, with plenty of restaurants and shops, and just few minutes away from Foggy Bottom Metro Station. You can catch the DC Circulator Bus from the DC downtown to Georgetown.

Georgetown Washington Harbor

Georgetown Washington Harbor

From Georgetown Washington Harbor, we took the sunset cruise of Potomac Riverboat Company on Potomac river to the old city of Alexandria. It was a 45-minute one-way tour, costing $15. On the way to Alexandria, we passed by many historical monuments of DC. We crossed this abandoned bridge, very close to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, with a flight about to descend at the airport. More photos of the weekly photo challenge – On the Way – can be found here.

Potomac Sunset River Cruise

On the Way to Alexandria Virginia – Potomac Sunset River Cruise

Alexandria in the Virginia state is a very historical city where the first European settlement was established in 1695. During the War of 1812 with British, this city was completely raided by the British ships. Today, the old city of Alexandria boasts of a number of eating joints, several chip shops and boutiques, historical buildings and museums for the tourists and plenty of activities for everyone.

***

Do let me know your thoughts on war and Memorial Day. Have you visited Washington DC or Georgetown or the city of Alexandria? What has been your memories of trips to these places? Do share them with all of us here.

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17 Responses to Memorial Day in Washington DC

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  3. prior says:

    I really enjoyed this post and I have always wanted to visit Arlington at Memorial Day – and even though it is so close – we usually have other things going on – but maybe someday. and a few days before the holiday – our local news showed the soldiers putting out the small flags – which was also making me want to visit – to see the flags lined up – anyhow, maybe that is why I extra appreciated your post here – you started with the flag shot (yea) and gave us a feel for the whole scene – with the powerful shot of the guards 🙂
    and then this transition was so nice:L

    “After a morning with heavy heart, in the late afternoon, we decided to catch the fresh air in the beautiful old area of Georgetown” – and the ending sunset shot – so nice – 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arlington is a very peaceful and serene place, and if I can use the word, beautiful, too with so many trees around and all the graves aligned in straight lines, in the same way soldiers stand in one file. Amd what better day than Memorial Day to visit. When I interacted with the soldiers over there, they told me that they had arranged all flags and flowers few days before at each grave. We had some very good conversations with them. Guards were very friendly and smartly dressed. 🙂

      Since you stay so close to the place, I am sure you can visit any day. DC is really a gem of a place. Probably my fav city among all I have seen in USA. You are so lucky to be here 🙂

      Yes Georgetown was a lovely place to spend time in evening along the Potomac. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your wonderful comment. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • prior says:

      hey suyash – use – it is very nice to be so close to DC – even though we do not go there as much as we would like to – part of it is because of the traffic to and from = not fun! but if you travel at off times it is nice and sometimes we like to go to IKEA. Have you ever been there? Well we used to like it more about ten years ago – anyhow, thx for the reply and have a nice weekend to you too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Prior (Did I mention your name correctly), I have not been to IKEA. I stayed in DC n Falls church for little over 3 months. Now I am back in Minneapolis. I traveled to DC for my job. I agree with you on traffic. Even though I used to take metro to DC, I used to hear all horror stories of traffic plus experienced metro delays and breakdown of train system at times.

      Despite, all this I liked DC very much. Huge sprawling National Mall, so many heritage buildings, memorial, no high rise – so clear blue sky above, unlike any other big USA city….and Cherry Blossom was awesome time there 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • prior says:

      sounds like you really know the area! and funny you should mention that there are no high rises – on our last trip there this was discussed a lot and I have just learned about that – even though in other cities I like the high rises – but it does add to the vibe and feel of DC to not have them… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • O yes, very true. DC gives a unique experience to any traveler and explorer. At any point of time, you will find so many tourists but there is plenty for an explorer as well. Being the capital city, there is always something or other happening around. And especially on national holidays 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. arv! says:

    Interesting post!

    Looking back, human history is full of wars! war for land, war for supremacy. resources, human ego…..I feel its the family of deceased who are at much bigger loss (apart from the deceased) …filling the void is impossible! adjusting to new situations and realities is a psychologically traumatic. On another note…last few years have unveiled many civil wars resulting in displacement of millions! African continent has witnessed many such wars in last 50 years, and recently the Arabian peninsula.

    For what ever reasons…wars exposes only ugly side!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I could not agree more with you. The pangs of war are visible on human society for long many years post-war. Its so difficult to heal the trauma that people and families undergo due to the war.

      Sometimes feel so sad that there are so many new conflicts taking place in the world today. And most of them due to vested interests. I wish better sense prevails sooner and this world becomes a more peaceful habitat for us.

      Thanks for visiting the post and for your thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. Lola Jane says:

    This is a wonderful and respectful post for Memorial Day. Maybe the reasons for wars are a combination of all that you mention here…however, I can’t help but think that no matter how relevant the reasons for war, we have to rise past this now…we have to change and stop with wars. A John Steinbeck quote sums it up for me: ‘All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.’ Thank you, Suyash, for a lovely post (from an Air Force veteran).
    — Jane

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Jane. And I am glad to know that you served in Air Force. At some point of my life, even I wished to joined defense forces and I was very close to it. But it did not happen.

      So, how many years did you serve in the Air Force and where were you located? Just curious to know more about you snd your experiences as an Air Force veteran.

      I completely agree with you that the wars are have to be stopped. They set mankind and society back by few decades. And the losses are incalculable and massive in the present day wars.

      Like

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