Trying to see all Washington DC has to offer in a week would be a huge task, trying to see DC and 6 other states was a mammoth goal.  The one downside of the states trips is some states get slighted.  They may get a drive through or a just a lunch.  Other states that have so much to see we get only a glimpse of.  But I suppose that will hopefully inspire our kids to seek out those places we missed.
 On Sunday we had to split the day between Virginia and West Virginia.  We started the morning at Arlington National Cemetery.  The dreary, drizzling rain seemed appropriate.  Watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was very moving.  You can't help but shed a tear as the bugle plays.  The respect and rigid discipline of the solider impressed the kids.  Sweat was beading off his ear and he did not so much as twitch as he kept his perfect march and post.  Watching the formalness filled me with pride for our county and those who serve.
 As we walked through the cemetery the loss of life was staggering.
Freedom is expensive.  Thinking of all the families over the years that have paid so much was breath taking.  I can't imagine the pain of losing my husband or children.

We then visited JFK's Eternal Flame and read some of his most memorable quotes.  I long for a President that behaves presidential.  One who inspires rather than Tweets attacks.  One that is a true statesman.  One that believes what he says and acts with moral compass.  A President that I trust to ensure the safety and freedom of our nation for generations to come and recognizes that it was paid for heavily by prior generations.  One that is restrained rather than reckless.  One that is a role model rather than a cartoon caricature.
"With good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."
~John F. Kennedy
We had a rather somber morning in Virginia as we then visited the Pentagon Memorial.  They have a neat audio tour you can dial on your phone and listen to as you walk through the memorial.
 The benches with the sound of water falling was very tranquil.  I thought it was a beautiful way to remember those who died that day.
 We saw loved ones of Chad Keller visiting his memorial.  Sixteen years later there is still much pain.  Seeing that really made an impression on the kids.  When you see a tombstone or a memorial it is one thing, but when you see the actual humans that were touched directly by the loss of a loved one in the 9/11 attack, it brings an entirely different recognition of sadness.  We left Virginia with the heavy weight of the price of the freedoms we take for granted and enjoy today.

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