Friday, June 01, 2012

World War II Memorial Washington DC

God works in mysterious ways.  In April of 2004, I was visiting my parents the same day the World War II Memorial in Washington DC opened and we watched the opening ceremony together.  My father was quite excited about the memorial and I am sure that he longed to visit it, but his health did not allow him.  I told him that I would like to go and photo and video it, but I just never knew when the opportunity would present itself. Elaine and I would discuss vacations and trips and sometimes Washington DC would come up, but we just never decided on it.  Sadly, my father passed away two years ago, never having gone and I never went to show him photos and videos.  In the back of my mind somewhere, this always bothered me as unfulfilled mission of the worst kind as you just never know how long you will have in this world.

Three weeks ago, I get an email from the U.S. Department of State asking me to evaluate Middle East employment and entrepreneurship proposals.  At the end of the process, besides paying me for the work, they would fly me down to DC, put me up, and pay my expenses as there was a necessary meeting to discuss the proposals for possible funding.  An all expense paid trip to DC and getting paid on top?  God works in mysterious ways.

Once in DC with some precious free time, I met up with my cousin Mike and our first stop was the World War II Memorial.  My uncle Albert was in the military, too and Mike reminded me that our grandfather was a World War I veteran.  We arrived at the Memorial.

 This is the Atlantic side entrance signifying the war in the Atlantic theater.

 These tokens of expression to honor departed loved ones were throughout the Memorial
 Inside, looking towards the Pacific theater side

 My father was from Barnesboro, Pennsylvania

I was glad to see school children there.  Best history lesson in the world for why they have the freedom to enjoy what they have in life
 Now we move to the Pacific theater side

 This was the Park Service Building where one can get information and assistance
 My mother registered my father on the World War II Honoree website
 As many of you know, my father was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  If you would like to watch his incredible eyewitness testimony of the events of that day, please click on any December link on the left sidebar and you will find it.
These are wondering outside of the Memorial

Strangely enough, Altoona Middle School students were in attendance, which is where my mother is from and Mike and I visited our grandparents on many occasions.  This photo was by permission of the teacher.
Here are the Pearl Harbor inscriptions

One last look back before we left.  I will never forget today for as long as I live.

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