• liveblesstravel

Washington DC - Day 3


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It will come as no surprise to you that Day 3 started off at Starbucks. B learned he liked coffee. M and I enjoyed hot oatmeal to start our days where it was so cold. Today we were headed to the Pentagon. We have friends from Florida who moved due to a job that is at the Pentagon. They were so gracious and offered to take us on a tour. It is my understanding that you can schedule a tour of the Pentagon, but any type of private treat of a tour is one we will not turn down.

We rode the Metro (it's the subway of DC) to the Pentagon. I was shocked that you literally get off the Metro and walk to the door of the Pentagon. I believe the security of an underground system so close to our Pentagon would have been greater. However, once in the doors of the Pentagon, there was security everywhere. While we waited for Mr. N to come get us for the tour, we were in a waiting area As I said, the tour was such a generous thing to do for us. Many parts of the Pentagon, we weren't allowed to see as we don't have the appropriate clearance level. But I learned several things about the Pentagon that I didn't know:

  • This should probably be obvious, but I didn't know the Pentagon was actually shaped like a pentagon (labeled on this aerial view with red numbers). Nor did I know there were 5 rings of the building all within one another (labeled in yellow numbers). They claim there are 5 levels, but there are levels underground in the basement area...so you can decide on the "5" there.

  • The Pentagon has several areas where people can stop during the day to offer respect for those who have lost their lives for us. These were somber places to stop by.

  • We visited the 911 chapel which is open for people all day long to visit and pray, pay respects, etc.

  • The halls near this chapel were lined with items made from organizations (mainly schools). As I looked through my photos, I wondered why I didn't take any pictures of this. Then I remembered the Pentagon did not allow camera or phones to be out.

  • The water at the Pentagon Memorial (more on that in a moment) stops flowing for one minute every day at 9:37. This is the time the plane hit the Pentagon on September 11th.

  • In the Pentagon there is a “mall” area with a chocolate store, a florist, CVS, Jos.A.Banks, BestBuy, a jewelry store...to name a few. We were told these stores change from time to time. They are here for the people who work in the Pentagon as they often work very long hours.

After our tour with Mr. & Mrs. P, we went out to see the Pentagon Memorial. This memorial is set up with benches. There is a bench

for every victim at the attack; both of whom were inside the Pentagon and on the plane. There is a pool of running water that flows under every bench, the water stops flowing for one minute each day as I mentioned above. All of the DC memorials are beautiful in there own way, and this was no exception.

After the Pentagon, we took an Uber to get lunch.

After lunch, we went to Arlington Cemetery. It was the first day metal detectors were being used for anyone entering the cemetery. We were told it would be like this from here on out. We went to visit Grammy's dad's burial site. Next we headed to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In the fall, the guard is changed on the hour, every hour. The Tomb Guard marches 21 steps down the black mat behind the Tomb, turns, faces east for 21 seconds, turns and faces north for 21 seconds, then takes 21 steps down the mat and repeats the process.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of the Guard

We had read before the trip Arlington National Cemetery. I feel it is very important to education children on what they are going to see prior to arriving. This way they have prior knowledge on what is happening. Our boys were very interested in counting the 21 steps and seconds while watching the soldiers . On our way from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to the exit, we stopped by the eternal flame.

You can barely make it out in the photo, but here is the Eternal Flame.

From Arlington Cemetery, we took an Uber to Georgetown where we spent some time checking out the area and shopping. We found a neat place, Pinstripes, with bowling & bocce ball that was also a restaurant and bar. This was a good stop for the kids; we bowled for awhile. Then we headed to dinner at Filomena and finished the night off at the famous Georgetown Cupcake.

Back at the hotel, we followed our regular ritual of preparing for the next day by reading the Kid's Guide to Washington DC.