Mr. Martin Goes to Washington

Trip Start Aug 05, 2006
1
5
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Trip End Aug 19, 2007


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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Monday, September 11, 2006

Washington DC. I finally reached my last destination in the US and took my last ride on Greyhound, hopefully for a long time! Although this was not the first time I had visited our nation's capital it had been a long time. The last time I probably could not fully appreciate its magnificence since I was only 10. I stayed with Ben for half of the time and then moved to Chris' parents place.

DC is full of things to do and see and even though I spent nine days here it was barely enough time to scratch the surface. First of all this place has museums, museums, museums. The Smithsonian institute alone is composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and also includes the national zoo. While here I explored several of the museums, such the Holocost Museum, American History Museum, Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum, and the National Gallery of Art. I also went to see the National Archives which houses the country's most important documents: the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

When you feel like you can't take anymore museums and want to get outdoors its time to check out DC's many monuments and famous buildings. Ben, Chris, Jess, and I spent a whole day walking around the National Mall and I even got a picture of the President's helicopter as he flew by the Washington Monument on his way to the White House aboard Marine 1. To see these places on TV really doesn't do them justice as they look much more impressive in person.

We also went to Arlington National Cemetary to pay tribute to those who fought and gave their lives in service of this country and view the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The soldiers chosen to guard the tomb are hand picked and have undergo rigorous training before the are admitted to this special unit. They guard the tomb 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and chose not to leave their posts when a hurricane came through a few years ago and also surrounded the tomb when the nearby Pentagon was hit on 9/11.

I didn't just visit countless museums and monuments while in DC. Many of us also met up for some good 'ol IES partying with Bing who is starting a new study abroad program in Beijing. Many good times were had and plenty of tasty brews consumed.

It seems a strange coincidence that I am writing this on the 5th anniversary of the horribly attacks that took place in New York and here in Washington DC. I ask you all to think a little about the significance of those events and what they meant to the world whether you are American or not and about the loss of all those innocent lives.

Time to cross the pond and let the real adventure begin!
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