Yesterday my son Zach and I left the hotel in Silver Spring about 0930 and headed down Georgia Avenue through Maryland, into DC and down to the Mall. Well, I thought I was heading down Georgia avenue. Actually, I headed ‘up’ Georgia Avenue and didn’t realize I was going the wrong way till I got to Olney. I figured that since I was from here, I couldn’t get lost. Wrong. This was country when I was a kid and now it’s non stop urban/suburban sprawl. Ok. I finally turned my GPS on and when the compass said NORTH… I accepted my mistake. My son, cutting the old man a little slack, said nothing, but smiled knowingly.
Down at the Mall, we found a parking place somewhere in the midst of a hundred thousand motorcycles. I thought about dropping a locating pin on my iPhone, but then eschewed that show of weakness. We were walking over the the public bathrooms at the Lincoln Memorial when I heard a bagpipe being played in a field nearby. Then a docent was telling the story of the Wall… we stopped to listen. Maya Lin, the architect who designed this most touching of monuments, is from Athens, Ohio. Her story is amazing enough, but the work she created exposes a nerve from that most turbulent of times that defined my generation. We see deeply into that deep cut that wounded America, and we come away healed.
There were Vets… children of Vets, grandchildren of Vets… Folks from around the world, people like Zach and me… touching beyond words. It is 0625. I’m going to wake Zach in an hour or so and we’ll mount up and head back downtown to watch Rolling Thunder… The Run To The Wall!
This time, I’ll go in the right direction.