Manassas to Chincoteague Island

Thursday, August 23,2013

Eric wondered several things, had I ever been to Arlington National Cementery? I had with my parents a skillion years ago? Do they always have the changing of the guard?- they do once every half hour during the summer, once every hour the rest of the year and once every two hours at night.

Then he wondered if it would be disrespectful to go dressed in our t-shirts and shorts? Outside, the uniformed soldiers, and the Mennonites dressed in gingham long-sleeve, high-neck, knee length dresses- that was the only dress mode we saw. We found out that the traffic on DC area rush hour mornings, is just what we are used to in New York, so it took us close to 40 minutes to cover the eight miles to the Cemetery. Between parking and getting through the Visitor’s Center we hustled up the hill to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to make the 11 o’clock change of guards (we did not yet know that there was another one in half an hour), We were instructed, in no uncertain terms, by a guard sergeant, that we were to respect the solemnity of the occasion by keeping quiet and remaining silent. We did, we stood and remained silent through the very elaborate, very formal ceremony- twice actually, since it was summer and they occurred a half hour apart. In the interim we listened to a guide who explained although the tomb had been created after World War I as a place for the families whose loved ones remains, remained in Europe to mourn, the guard did not start until the 1930’s. Arlington Cemetery was a beautiful place, and families would come in nice weather and even picnic at the Tomb. She explained the guard was placed there to prevent such disrespectful behavior. I  disagree, I am not sure I think that families going on with process of being alive while being close to their dead is a terrible thing.

But someone does. Since the changing of the guard is taken very seriously. Even at night when the grounds are closed to visitors. Who would know, if you didn’t go through the ceremonial steps at night? A journalist asked a guard member.

His answer- He would know. (He being the unknown soldier)

In a country without royalty or palaces – guess we need to change the guard somewhere.

Ladies and Gentlemen:  Please stand and remain silent –

P1010500 P1010501 P1010502 P1010503 P1010504 P1010505 P1010506

 

(for any reader who doesn’t know us- I most absolutely give Eric credit for the above pictures)

 

We headed off to Chincoteague, we would have passed Washington DC on the bypass, if Eric would have listened to my translated directions from the Google Map  app, but that didn’t happen so we drove through DC.

At the Bread-and- breakfast, Cecil, one of the many lovely people we met there asked me had I been to DC.  Yes, many times, the Union brings us down often enough for various protests.  I suspect no other one sentence would have given such a succinct self-description of this middle-aged New Yorker.

We stopped in Stevensville, Maryland for a nice lunch and then made our way down the DelMarVa to Chincoteague.

I must include at least one sunset.

I must include at least one sunset.

 

 

We arrive at Chincoteague in time to catch the sunset over the bay.

We went on with process of living.

 

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