Arriving at the Museum the first thing you see upon walking in is a big, somewhat copy of the American Flag, all in silver square plates
. I was not too impressed with the flag. We toured the Price of Freedom Hall, Communities in a changing World Hall, and the First Ladies of the Smithsonian Hall. Stopped in the Stars and Stripes Café and took a Simulator ride (Cosmic Coaster), So much to see in one day. We barely touched on 1/8 of the museum (if we were lucky). We walked over to the Dept. of Agriculture Building and sat by the Victory Garden and waited up for Chris to get off work. He works a couple of blocks from the Ag.Bldg. Then we took a taxi back to our car in the Maritime Plaza parking lot. Dropped off some stuff in the car and the taxi driver took us to gate 2 of the Marine Barracks. Now that we knew where we needed to be in an hour we went across the street to Molly Malone's for dinner. Molly Malone's
A Capitol Hill Saloon is a neighborhood saloon that captures the charm of a classic Irish Pub. We eat upstairs in the Chesty Puller Bar. Chesty Puller was a Marine's Marine and war Hero who won 5 Navy Crosses(2nd highest military award). Service was a bit slow, but the place was really crowded. Our waitress was nice and the bus boy kept the table cleared off. The food was great. Michelle and Evie shared a Lobster-Mac-n-cheese which was especially good. (I stole a bite from Evie) I just had Buffalo wings, Dave and Chris had speciality sandwhiches and they enjoyed the dinner too. After dinner we all attempted to go to gate #2, but Dave had to talk to every Marine between the Pub and corner street crossing. So I went ahead to get our place in line
. At a couple of minutes after 7 the gates opened we started to file in. There was a thorough security check, and then some last minute requests and we were escorted to our seats. Since Dave and I got separated from Michelle and Chris in the lines, we waited before being seated. A man walked up to a Marine and showed his Disabled card and was seated in the seats up front. Dave started to do the same, but the Marine Host asked to see our reservation and he explained that we had reservations for the VIP Seats. I not sure what I did when I made the reservations to get the VIP Chairs, but whatever it was, I was happy, We sat in the first row. Michelle, Chris and of course Evie joined us. We had such a great evening! While we were waiting for the Parade to start Dave spoke to LT. Gen. Williams with Public Relations of the Marine Corps.
Marine Barracks in Washington DC is the home of the Evening Parade and is the first post for the United States Marine Corp. The barracks' location was selected by President Thomas Jefferson who thought it necessary to select a location that would be near enough to the Naval Yard while still remaining close enough to the capital for an easy march. President Jefferson was accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Burrows, and to this date the Marine Barracks in Washington has been the residence of every Commandant since 1806.
The Marine Corps Band has called Marine Barracks in Washington DC its home since the barracks' establishment in 1801. The band eventually picked up the title of the "President's Own" because of the tradition that was established when the Marine Band first played for President John Adams at the White House. Marines involved with the Marine Corps Band at Marine Barracks are the best in the Corps and a notable among the list is John Philip Sousa. At the time he directed the Marine Corps Band, he wrote many of the marches that we hear today and the marches that are unmistakably Marine.
The Marine Barracks is full of American heritage yet even today; Marines stationed at the barracks faithfully serve the country in different ways. The Marine Corps elite band members are stationed at the barracks and perform parades such as the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks and the Sunset Parade at the National Marine Corps War Memorial (aka. Iwo Jima memorial). Other Marines at the barracks are responsible for special ceremonies, light infantry training and Presidential support duty. Some Camp David Marines can call the Marine Barracks home as well as many Marines who serve at the United States Naval Academy.
The Barracks serves as the parade grounds for the Evening Parade
. The Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks is a spectacular site to see. The ceremony starts at 8:45 p.m., beginning with a concert by the United States Marine Band. The Evening Parade, held every Friday evening during the summer, has become a universal symbol of the professionalism, discipline, and Esprit de Corps of the United States Marines. A one hour and fifteen minute performance of music and precision marching, the Evening Parade features "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, "The Commandant's Own" The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Corps Color Guard, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, Ceremonial Marchers, and LCpl. Chesty XIII, the official mascot of Marine Barracks Washington.
After the evening festivities were complete Dave was talking to Company 1st. Sgt. from this Post and he invited us to the Staff NCO Club for a drink and an opportunity to meet the current Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Stockton. It seemed like all the Marines that participated in the Evening Parade stopped by the club for a drink afterwards. We even bumped into the two Marines that were members of the Drum and Bugle Corps and they were informing us at the beginning of the evening about the history and protocol of the event. They fell in love with Evie and rewarded her with a calendar poster to remember the evening.
Dave, Michelle, Chris and I came to the same conclusion that Evie loves a man in uniform, especially them Marine uniforms! She was beyond impressed with all the good looking Marines. (And they all fell in love with her.)
May God bless the United States Marine Corps for keeping us safe in the many wars since their inception on Nov. 10, 1775 in Tun Tavern, Philadelphia PA. Semper Fideles to one and all.
Breakfast was a treat by Michelle at La Madelines, then it was off to Washington DC to the National Museum of American History. On the way we were able to see many historic sites from afar like the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and several others. We found parking in the Maritime Plaza where we had reserved parking for the Evening Parade, the charge from 10am to 6pm was only $8.00 (our reserved time was for after 6 P.M.) (San Francisco eat your heart out!) We were offered a ride in the Employee Shuttle bus to the Metro system which we took to the Museum. In some was ways it was nicer then BART but other ways not-so-nice. The metro cars had nice padded seats and AIR CONDITIONING but it was a bit more confusing changing trains. Thank goodness Michelle knew her way around the Metro.