We had gone out to D.C. to visit my aunt and uncle. He worked at the Pentagon and I had always wanted to go. I love museums and history
In the days we were there I saw the Capitol, the White House, three of the Smithsonian museums, the FBI and the Treasury.
We also saw hookers come out of the capitol and others come up to the car with us three kids in the back offering family discounts. That is not made up.
We also saw the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln monuments lite up with light at night. All was incredible to see but pale with the next.
It was actually nice out side, good breeze, partially cloudy sky and there is a park where kids play, people lay down and watch planes fly over to land almost low enough to see the people in the planes window.
By this park is the Wall, the Vietnam memorial, of the flags weren’t up driving by you would probably miss it.
My father and mother both knew people on it and my father served during it. And we were going to see it. What I’m about to describe we all talked about after and felt the same life altering moment.
The Wall is a crescent shaped walk way with the Wall starting at a point that rises to the middle and tappers back down and is like a trench. Very appropriate to those it represents.
Planes were roaring over head, traffic blaring by and lots of happy screams of playing kids were everywhere. That is important to know.
We all walked in and once the names start on the shiny reflective grey stone wall I felt a honest sadness and reverence come over me.
Each step I took I saw the thousands of names and only had my eyes locked on them by the many mementos loving left by love ones and band of brothers who friendship levels only they will know.
I saw people gently rub shaking fingers over names of those they new and lost. Even my parents. And I still tear up remembering the sight.
Then I noticed what was missing and engulfing me. Silence. Not a normal silence it was a stepping into a truly sacred place and no sound was allowed to break the reverence.
No planes could be heard, no cars no kids. It wasn’t a scary silence, it was a silence I have never felt before or since. And it truly felt like it should be. I realized in a way o had been taking out of the outside world and was standing in a place of feeling, respect, honor, regret of loss and reverence
The feeling stayed with me as each step left no sound on the concert path. And though people who came in together if the spoke it was like a barely audible whisper.
You can’t help but be sucked in by the endless names, the objects with hidden meanings, reflections of brave lost soles. You can’t look away but you don’t want to. It wasn’t scary or felt odd it felt very right.
When I stepped past the last part of the Wall sound came rushing back. I didn’t feel that incredible feeling of being somewhere, sometime else. But it also left a permanent impression in me I never want to lose.
I have been to many memorials and museums. But nothing will ever be like my visit to the Wall. If you are in D.C. I humbly request that be a spot you visit. It will be like nothing you ever experienced and will never forget.
For those who died that it represent should not be forgotten and though those years they only knew hell, there they can reconnect to those that loved them and the silence tells their stories in a truly life altering way. Thank you and rest in a peace you deserve all that served and died!