Thursday, June 23, 2011

Iwo Jima and the “Big Stick”…

After the recent article in the WSJ about Americans’ general lack of understanding of US history, I was motivated to take my kids (off from school and no camp this week) on our next DC outing.

To give them some perspective on life, we went to the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington, VA, next to the national cemetery.

As we drove (fortunately, little traffic), I explained to them part of the history of WW II and (thanks to Wikipedia, I was ready), I shared some facts of the battle of Iwo Jima.

What was so inspiring was how involved, interested, and curious they were in the actual story. They kept asking questions and insisting that I continue. We were there for all of 20 minutes, but it was worth it.

Next to the memorial is something called the Netherlands Carillion. I had seen the sign for it thousands of time, but never (as far as I can recall) visited it. A gift from the Dutch to the US in 1960 after WW II in gratitude for the sacrifice, it has 29 bells from all over Holland. We had a snack there.

On the way back, we stopped at Theodore Roosevelt (who, as the kids will tell you, was the 28th President) and took in his statue.

It’s on an island and you approach it over the Potomac via footbridge. The kids loved that.

Bringing us full circle, we saw a compliment of Marines doing a training run.

A strong 3 hour round trip activity which all of us enjoyed.

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