|The White House viewed from Lafayette Park. Yeah, that was me.|
I was a member of the now defunct, Ambassadair Travel Club through American Trans-Airlines. Every couple of months, we received a magazine exploring all the available trips available for members to take. All the arrangements were made by picking up the telephone, giving them your membership number and your credit card number. The travel club would send you all the necessary information complete with airline gate number and boarding information.
Times were easier then. It was autumn, 1994. There was no Dept. of Homeland Security, no TSA, no full body searches and x-rays, at the airports – just smiling faces wishing you a pleasant flight and best wishes for a good time on your Day Trip.
Of course, I had my cameras and nobody pulled out my film to see it if was a bomb. Just smiles and wishes for a pleasant journey. Ahhh, those were the days.
We boarded the brilliantly painted Boeing 727 for the two hour flight to Reagan National Airport. I love the window seat and my date was only too happy to avoid the windows at all; her nose buried in some light paperback reading. The flight was smooth on this superbly sunny and cool autumn day and in virtually no time at all we touched down in Washington, D.C.
The travel club had tour buses already waiting for us at their own terminal gate. Since this was only a day trip, we had virtually no luggage with which to contend. The plane emptied and the buses filled. It was just as smooth as a military operation on a good day. The tour guide was the last to board as she picked up the microphone for the intercom system.
“Ladies and gentlemen. I hope you had a pleasant flight and will also enjoy a wonderful time in our city, the nation’s capitol. Our first stop will be the Arlington National Cemetery. We’ll see the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns and visit some other notable residents along the way.”
|Arlington National Cemetery - Tomb of the Unknowns|
Continuing on, we visited the tomb of President John F. Kennedy. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was buried nearby, but his grave is marked with a simple white cross as he wished. These assassinations occurred in my lifetime and as still a high school and young college student in Indiana. Those were turbulent times in our country’s history. Thinking back on those times makes me sad, but it makes me glad to sit here in the future of those times and say that America – The United States of America – is still here.
|Final Rest for John F. Kennedy.|
|You can't go there, without coming here.|
|The Reflecting Pool from Lincoln Memorial.|
|Symbols of soldiers from my generation and it's war.|
|I had chills at just being near the the Marine Corps Monument.|