Watching the changing of the guard was definitely worth seeing! I never would have thought about taking time to witness that. The night tour was also something that I would not have thought to take on my own. The monuments look so different at night and you get a whole different feeling when looking at them. I cannot wait to go back again some day.
Watching the changing of the gueards was phenominal and gave me goosebumps! I'm really happy we stayed to watch it because it was an experience worth watching!
I enjoyed the Tomb so much that I've been reading about it and the sentinels. I am both impressed and proud to see videos of how aggressively they manage disrespect.
Please share a video.
Eddie, I would also like to see some of those videos! Where did you find them?
Prior to seeing them on our trip I had no idea they even did this or existed. I think the ceremony was amazing as they took such pride and precision in everything they did. I'm so glad we were able to stay and watch this process.
WOW! I was wondering what would happen if people interrupted and went on the plaza...
Here's one in the rain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Uhs2Qbu4Zs. You can also find them in the snow.
The night tour was really nice! It actually takes the monuments into a completely different view! Seeing the Lincoln Memorial at night makes the monument glow from the reflecting pool! It was a great conclusion to our day!
The Lincoln Memorial was even more majestic at night! How cool would it be to drive by that every night on your way home? I loved seeing people running, playing, enjoying the memorial as an every day part of their scenery.
Courtney, I thought it was especially nice seeing the Iwo Jima memorial at night. Between the lights, the size, and the actual rocks from mount Iwo Jima it was powerful. I almost feel like it the view from the night would be better than the day view.
My favorite part of the Iwo Jima memorial was sharing it with our very own Marine. :-)
I also like how the reflecting pool looked at night. The glowing white memorial is just beautiful and overall should be seen at night.
Mount Iwo Jima? Son I am disappoint. Mount Suribachi.
I was glad that I had the opportunity to see IWO JIMA at night. Mount Suribachi was the site that the Japanese dug an underground hospital. I encourage all of you to read " Flags of our Fathers" by James Bradley. John "Doc" Bradley's son. The story is about the six men who are depicted in the second raising of "Old Glory." Does anybody know why it was the second? Because the Navy Admiral said the first flag was too small.
Personally, I feel like the monuments have a whole different personality at night. The light seems to give them a sense of honor and respect from the way it's very soft and glowing. I like to view the memorials more at night than I do during the day.
I especially liked the Iwa Jima and the Jefferson Memorial at night. I don't think that Iwa Jima would have been as captivating during the day as the lights truly highlighted the figures. The Jefferson Memorial was great as well as we had not had the opportunity to see it in the daylight either and it reflected on the water with a magnificent view of the Washington memorial as well.
My favorite memorial during the night tour was the Iwa Jima and the Lincoln memorial. The lighting was perfect to show the majesty of both monuments. Jessica, I agree, the Iwa Jima definitely would have had not as much of an impact during the day as it did at night. All of the monuments seemed to glow more than during the day.
True to the precision all around the city I was really taken by the ability to see the individual footsteps worn into the marble at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Of course I ignored suggestions at the night tour to avoid the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall because it was too dark to see, and that turned out to be the most powerful moment of the trip for me. It was much quieter, solemn, and most of the people near it were finding names, not merely sight seeing.
Eddie, I would like to learn more about what it takes to become an honor guard. It seems to take such great dedication. I wonder if there are resources available to hear the stories of the honor guards or if they are semi-sworn to secrecy?
I agree Eddie. Even though I have seen it before, it was something that I never really paid attention to. It is almost a symbol of determination. If the Honor Guards were not determined to do their job, those worn spots would not be there.
Eddie, You said it well. There is a huge amount of symbolism in the foot steps at the tomb of the unknown. It is incredible how consistent and dedicated these men are. I remember when the man found his platoon on the Vietnam wall, and he began to cry so you shook his hand. Each memorial has meaning, but it is so much more powerful when you see an individual directly effected by the memorial. -Matt Werkowitch
To me most of the memorials, at least the ones I enjoyed the most, were the ones that had a personal link to the event/person. The quotes chosen at the MLK memorial and WWII memorial, the immortal words of Lincoln, the personal stories of horror and betrayal in the holocaust museum. In my opinion keep the statues, show me the hearts of the people that inspired them.
Seeing the veterans watching the changing of the guard was very powerful.I was moved by all of the veterans that made the trip and the trek to Arlington. One of the veterans in a wheelchair used all of his power to stand in respect for the unknown veterans. I do not want any veteran to feel unappreciated. I think that is one of the greatest things I gained from this trip. I hope that the trip will inspire me to do more volunteer work with veterans and to always remember the sacrifices of the past and present.
This trip made me want to do more volunteer work with veterans as well! I spoke to a few of them and they are all so sweet and kind. Every time I thanked one for their service they seemed so appreciative. They deserve so much respect for what they have done throughout their lives.
I feel the same way, Cat. All the men in my family (father, uncles, great-uncles) were WWII veterans, and they're all gone now. I loved the jacket one of the men was wearing: "If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank a veteran."
I completely agree with you Cat. Seeing the Veterans at the changing of the guards was so powerful. Also with Dr. Milakovic, all the veterans in my family are all gone and I can't talk to them about anything, but seeing these men still alive and honoring them was powerful. I hope that I can appreciate all the Veterans that I will take care of in the future and really read deeper than their immediate demeanor.
It was such a powerful thing to see! I have to say I almost cried when one Vet sat next to the man next to me and the Vet said, "do you mind if I sit here?" The man said, "not at all, it would be an honor!" The vet smiled and they shook hands. It was such a simple yet cool thing to witness.
My favorite part of this day was seeing the 9/11 memorial. This was the first time of me seeing it, and as soon as I walked up I got chills. As I walked up to the benches, you could look at one and face the sky or look at another and face the pentagon. Being able to understand a part of who that person was made a connection between us. I started to cry as a saw a little girl and her whole family who was on the trip died in the plane that day. Then on the other side, there were many people that died in the Pentagon that day that were younger and in their thirties. Another part that struck me hard was seeing where the Pentagon was repaired and the discoloration in the stone. It made me realized how much damage was really done. Then as I would turn and look to the sky, just looking at the emptiness and calmness. There was nothing going on or any noise. It was almost peaceful in a sense. Personally, it just didn't seem possible that all of this could have happened. I would love to visit this memorial again, it was definitely one of my favorites.
Cheyenne, I did not realize as much damage was done as the reality. I as well spent a great portion of time pondering over the lives of the people that died that day. They had no idea what was going to happen. They were every day people like you and I. There was a man outside the memorial that use to work for the Pentagon. I really enjoyed hearing some of the facts he was telling about the memorial. I didn't realize that the plane actually crashed 100 feet before the Pentagon and in 8/10 of a second it did so much damage. So many lives were lost, and the reverence and calmness as you stated was evident at the memorial. It was definitely one of my favorites as well.
I don't think I can pick my favorite part of this day because all of it was amazing. I loved seeing Arlington and the grave of JFK. When we went to go see the changing of the guards I had absolutley no idea what I was getting into. It was so precise and rehearesed with such precision that it was so unfathomable. Seeing the 9/11 pentagon memorial was also very amazing. After doing the group project over it I had learned so much and was so excited to see it for myself. It definitely was spectacular and we ran into a man who worked in the Pentagon and told us some other things that really helped to shed light on the design of not only the memorial but the pentagon itself. The Pentagon was built on September 11th, 1941 and was dedicated at 9am. It was hit exactly 60 years and 37 minutes later.
COOL fact. That's crazy!
Going to Arlington National Cemetery put life into perspective. Seeing how many men fought and died throughout the life of our country so I can have the freedoms I have cwas powerful. Everywhere we turned there were headstones. Each head stone is the same to symbolize that we are all one, we are all equal. The changing of the guards was highly intriguing. Seeing the wear in the concrete and discoloration shows how truly dedicated these men are to protecting the tomb of the unknown. During the night tour we saw many different memorials, however my favorite was the Jefferson memorial. As Jefferson keeps an eye on the white house, the symbolism made me feel that it is important for all of us to keep our leaders in check. -Matt Werkowitch
There were two things I didn't like at Arlington. First, the high ranking officer tombstones. I understand distinguishing their rank, but I wish they had all been the same. The individualism of those tombstones broke the unrelenting precision and set those men above the others. I also was very unimpressed with the women's memorial. To me it felt like a presentation in a high school gym. Hell you walk in the door and there's a giant quilt. There were some quotes that were horrible representations of women in the military. In my opinion there should not be a separate monument to women in the service, they should be properly included in all of the other monuments. Their duties and sacrifices cannot be held separate from the men's, it took all to achieve what we have no matter what their role was.
I agree with, Eddie. While the high raning officers did have some pretty amazing and ornate tombstones, it does seem a bit unfair that they had them in the first place. I was also unimpressed with the Women in War Memorial. All the contributions women made to war one would think they would get a slightly bigger space to display their accomplishments. -Maggie C.
Eddie, I watched a video in the Women in War Memorial that was educational and described the importance of women in war. It was the video about the nurses. The video was rather long so I did not see the entire memorial, but I thought that it was the most significant and meaningful aspect of the memorial. I did not see the quilt... Seriously, there was a quilt? That is insulting. Was that to symbolize that women just knit during the war? I will pay more attention to these things next time.
I agree and disagree with your opinions. First, the high ranking officers had captivating tombs, but I do not believe that they were the only ones that had these great stones. I believe somewhere along the trip I heard that there were other famous persons buried in that cemetery. This is sort of deceiving as I had originally thought that it was truly only for those that had fought in the war. (Correct me if I'm wrong). Also, I agree that women and men should be celebrated equally as we should all be considered as equals In this fight. However, we all know that his is not the case. Personally I think some parts of the museum could have been shown a little bit better and maybe it should have included unrelated items such as photographs of the monuments around being built. This had nothing to do with women and their battles. I was however truly moved by one particular section where it shared the life story of a women named Jessica Anne Ellis who died in battle. Her story was moving and touched my heart as I related it to my aunt whom has served in Iraq and Afghanistan for a total of 3 times. I am so thankful for all of those men (and WOMEN!) who have given their lives for my freedom.
Eddie I do have to agree with you.. but Jessica I thought Jessica Ellis's story was pretty amazing too. I can't believe she died on Mother's Day, how sad.
Watching the changing of the guards was so emotional.The discipline of the Honor Guard and its attention to the smallest detail was amazing. When the veterans came in they brought tears to my eyes. It was such a great experience and I will never forget it.
The changing of the guard was EPIC. The Corporal was entertaining and professional. For those who may not know this: The Corporal of the guard is responsible not only for the changing of the guard but also inspection arms. The Corporal's performance of inspection arms was flawless and did you notice that when the off going was relieved by the Corporal, the off going performed a weapon function check. If you listened closely you heard the hammer fall on an empty chamber.
Zedrick, I have to agree. The changing of the guard was EPIC. I have seen a military march before, but nothing like this. I was intimidated just sitting there watching him inspecting the arms and uniform, I can't imagine how the guard felt. It was definitely mind blowing.
I was very touched to visit Arlington cemetery. Being there made me feel proud of our country, and that my father served in the military. Even though he never fought in any wars he still served, and I know he would have felt pride and honor if he were there. I would love to take my dad to DC one day. I tried to pay attention to the artistic-ness of some of the grave stones that were not uniform to the rest. One stone in particular caught my eye because it looked like a piece of wood, although it was stone, shaped into a carved piece of stone and an American flag draped over the stone, even though it was all made of stone. It was very cool to see. I liked that Dr. Milakovic noticed that a general was buried next to a "sweet boy of promise." Although there are rankings within the military, in death, they are all equal. I was also surprised that a woman came shouting at Sarah and I while we were sitting on one of the memorials at the Pentagon, "You know you're not supposed to be sitting on these?!" I politely informed her that yes, they were made to be sat on, to "be with" the people in memory by sitting down. She still didn't believe me after we had explained it to her. I really enjoyed seeing the changing of the guard. I can see that it's such an honor to be there, protecting the tomb of the unknown soldier(s). When I went home, I told my fiance about this and he almost didn't believe me on how precise the honor guard really is. Thanks to youtube he now believes me. When visiting the Korean War memorial I was blown away to how real the soldiers looked at night. I thought at any moment they would move/ I honestly didn't know anything about this war. Glad I had Dr. Milakovic to tell me facts as we circled the memorial.
Arlington National Cemetery was much larger than I was expecting. The clean white tombstones stretched as far as I could see. Initially I thought that all of the tombstones would look like the ones featured in the picture above, but as I walked farther into the cemetery, I noticed other tombstones were much larger and unique. A few tombstones were shaped like the Washington Monument while others had religious shapes such as a cross. The changing of the guard ceremony was very impressive. I was astonished by the precision of each movement. Throughout the entire ceremony, I kept thinking about how much focus the guards must have. They did not readjust, scratch an itch, yawn, or sneeze. Each action they made was purposeful. It must take a lot of time to prepare for that. I would get distracted or just lost my mind without talking for 20 minutes or an hour. Luckily, I am not even close to being tall enough for this honorable role.
The Changing of the Guard was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. The precision to every single detail seemed exhausting, but it was never once noticalbe. It was clear how much honor those soldiers took in guarding the fallen unknown. The tombstones were never ending at Arlington. Just when you think you have seen them all your turn a corner or come over a hill and there are hundreds more. It was a moving experience to see so many men give up their live for their country and cause. -Maggie C.
The discipline those men have to be a part of the Changing of the Guard is amazing. Every motion has a purpose. I can't imagine how much time and effort it took to learn the muscle memory to perform their duties seamlessly. -Alex
In the Women's Memorial I noticed differences compared to memorials dedicated more towards men. The pictures depicted smiling posing women, where as men are shown strong and stoic. Men in our military always look imposing and disciplined. These attributes are not shown in the photos showing off the women in the military. They are always shown caring for the sick which are traditional gender roles. Women might have been allowed to join the military, but they were still limited. Women are able to have more freedoms now, but the social stigmas still exist. I am interested in these gender differences and enjoy picking up on them. -Alex
I honestly didn't think about this until you mentioned it. Now, at looking back I can definitely see you're point of view here. All of the men figures did look heroic and the women looked nurturing as you said "traditional gender roles."
It was definitely life changing to see the Arlington National Cemetery where so many people died for our freedoms. It seemed like an endless row of tombstones. My favorite part of the day seeing the Changing of the Guard of the unknown soldier. Everything was literally so perfect. If you noticed each time he paced back and forth, he took 21 steps, and Eddie, Zedrick and Sean told me that each time the guard changed direction it took him exactly 21 seconds. I thought this was extremely amazing. There was such sense of reverence and respect. The movement of the guards was robotic it seemed so perfect. This was the highlight of my day. At the time when we were waiting for the changing of the guard, my phone had died and I asked Cheyenne to record it for me, because I was that speechless and impressed.