Thursday, October 09, 2008

Political Friends in Washington -- Day One

I experienced my first full day in Washington, D.C. today. My wife was busy with work, so I had most of the day to myself. I walked around Arlington National Cemetery for a few hours this morning, then went to the National Archives. I was able to view the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Magna Carta before there was a very long line.

My wife and I then went to Union Station and had dinner. Finally, we strolled down to the capital. It was a great first day, but I may have walked seven to ten miles today. The metro is great, but some places you just have to walk. There were three things that really impressed me today.

The first was Arlington. I spent so long there because it was a very interesting place. The entire cemetery has a very peaceful feel. I saw most of the famous sites (JFK's tomb, Tomb of the Unknows), and a few I hadn't known were there (Monument to the Columbia, Monument to Women in Military Service).

The second was the Declaration of Independence. Words can't describe being in the presence of the documents at the National Archives. This was the one building I had to see in Washington. The Constitution is still very readable. However, the Declaration has faded almost entirely.

The third thing was the Capital building. Regardless of what you think of the people who work in the building, the building is very impressive to see in person. I had no idea just how big the building is, and it really is beautiful.

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