“The memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S. during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people to the common defense of the nation and to the broader causes of peace and freedom from tyranny throughout the world. It will inspire future generations of Americans, deepening their appreciation of what the World War II generation accomplished in securing freedom and democracy. Above all, the memorial stands as an important symbol of American national unity, a timeless reminder of the moral strength and awesome power that can flow when a free people are at once united and bonded together in a common and just cause.” wwiimemorial.com
After a good night’s rest, we were prepared for a day full of adventure. The staff at the Westin served up a delicious breakfast to get our morning started right. then the buses were loaded and heading to Washington DC.
First stop, World War II Memorial and the National Mall. The veterans and their guardians explored the National Mall which includes the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. At the World War II Memorial we had a special visit from Senator Orrin Hatch. After the National Mall, we took a short bus ride over to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. You know what they say… A picture speaks a thousand words.
After visiting the National Mall we traveled to Arlington Cemetery to visit the Women’s Memorial. After this we visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We were there during the changing of the guard ceremony. Reverence and respect.
That evening when we returned to the hotel we were treated to a heroes dinner. It was lovely. A speaker spoke about his father who had served in the Air Force but rarely shared stories about his service. This father has since passed away and the son would like to know more about his father’s life. He encouraged each veteran to go home and share all their stories about their service in the wars and he encouraged each family member to ask questions.
At the close of the dinner each World War II veteran was given a victory medal replica. On each medal it says “FREEDOM FROM FEAR AND WANT and FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RELIGION.” Our veterans have given us those freedoms for their service. It was my privilege to accompany them on this trip.
Coming up… Day 3