Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 26

We started the morning as usual, making breakfast by ourselves again before Reverend Mark was able to join us. Pastor Lynn was with us as well, because the kitchen had been locked and she had had to open it. Then Pastor Neubauer came, bringing extra food from McDonald's. We had quite a breakfast.

Dad wanted to see a movie in at the theater that day, so Pastor Lynn drove us to the gigantic mall of Arlington. There we went up three floors to the theater. None of the movies we really wanted to see were playing and the one that we thought might be worth watching didn't start until hours later! So we walked around in the mall for a while, checking out the numerous stores in the building.

We entered a video game arcade, but prices were so high we stopped after one game. After more walking around, Dad stopped at a group of massage chairs. He gave me a dollar and we both sat down for three minutes of relaxation.

At least Dad enjoyed it. For me it was like someone was poking me in the back. It felt kind of good when it massaged the lower back, but when it did the neck I thought the chair was trying to strangle me!

After some time Dad gave up on the movie and Reverend Mark picked us up. The movie tickets were expensive anyway, Dad reasoned. Reverend Mark took us to a guitar shop, where we played some guitars for a while. It was fun, but the day was ending and we needed to go back to the church. We stopped at the grocery store, but ended up buying only some ice cream.

It was raining the hardest I had seen yet. It had already been thick earlier, but now it seemed like whole sheets of rain came dumping down in flood-like conditions. We had dinner at Reverend Mark's house. I got to meet the rest of his family over a dinner of take-out Chinese food. Then, after of course a long conversation, we walked downstairs to see another movie. While we sat down there Reverend Mark gave me a belt with a Harley Davidson logo on it!

The rain had stopped by the time the movie ended. I was just about ready for bed, but as we got outside I noticed three people following us--Reverend Mark and two of his three daughters. We all got into his car and it dawned on me. Earlier he had commented on seeing DC at night. And that was what we were going to do!

The cool air was perfect and a small bit of the moon glowed, giving the night a certain feeling that something special was happening.
The Lincoln Memorial was very different. The large structure was lit up and Lincoln himself was pure bright white. As we walked up the steps Reverend Mark showed us that in the steps was writing. It said in big letters "I have a dream." He told me that this was where Martin Luther King Jr. gave that speech.

After a while we looked at the Vietnam Wall. The sober feeling that surrounded it was not lost with lights. It was very dimly lit so that I could make out letters and names but my camera could not--at least not without a flash.

From there we moved on to the Korean War Memorial. This was the first time I had ever seen it. The white, life-sized statues, also dimly lit, looked like ghosts. Their faces were not very detailed except, my Dad said, for one. I thought I might have seen the one, but I'm not sure.

There was also a wall. It looked like any other wall until I got close up to it. Then I saw faces appearing everywhere. Etched in stone were real pictures from the war, faces that now could probably only be seen in memory or on this wall.

We made our way back to the car and drove along the Reflection Pool until we found the World War II Memorial. We found a large arch and walked under it onto a ledge that overlooked a huge pool of water with a fountain in the middle. Fifty pillars surrounded it, one for each state. Lights were everywhere, making the memorial as a whole beautiful, a place that I will not forget.

With that we got into the car and drove back to the church. I saw the Iwo Jima Memorial on the way, dramatically lit up in the night. Then it was gone as we drove away.

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