Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Clif, Louise, and Craig Hullinger went to the WW II Memorial dedication in DC this weekend.
The Memorial is for all the "Greatest Generation", those who served in the military and the home front who supported them from 1941-45. Fun meeting the veterans who stopped the Nazi's, fascists, and imperialists, and liberated big parts of Europe and Asia.
And interesting to see how many baby boomers who were there, with and without a parent. Those without were ususally honoring their parents.
The memorial is great and grand, beautifully located between the Washington and Lincoln Monument. The architectural criticism is wrong - this is a great monument. And it is a monument to an entire group of Americans - the 144,000,000 Americans who fought or supported the war. Much more democratic and appropriate than most of our monuments, erected for a single person.
The monument is very different than the Vietnam memorial. It is larger, more grand, more celebratory, which it should be. It was a much bigger and more celebratory War. WWII was also a unique time, when the country was united, as opposed to most times, like Vietnam, the present, the Civil War, the Revolutionary War.
Clif's comments below
The dedication ceremony was fantistic but long. Even though the weather was perfect, we got sunburn and sore muscles. We arraived at DC in the middle of the afternoon on Friday and tried to get a a look at the memorial but the traffic and and crowds held us to just a glimpse (and the camera was in the car!!) We went back early Sat. and our seats were at the east end of the mall fairly close to the Capital building and about a mile from the memorial. We left Louise to hold our seats and Craig and I decided to walk to the memorial for pictures but when we got there it was closed off to people. Probably a good thing.
If 150,000 all tried to do the same thing, it would have been chaos. But my walking legs haven't recovered yet.
They had lots of huge TV screens in all the seating areas so we could hear and see all the activities very well. Actually they started music and acts about 10:00AM , had the stuff you may have seen at 12:00 to 2:00, and then went right on with other stuff for the outlying crowds.
Craig had got us reservations in the Fort Belvoir BOQ which turned out to be real nice. But they had lots of security people out checking on credentials. We had ID and drivers licenses but they wanted proof that we owned the car. Our insurance cards didn't seem to help although why we would have been paying insurance on a terrorist car escapes me. Anyhow they wouldn't let us in. Craig asked what would they do if we had flown in and rented a car which is what most people might do. They said we would then a contract from the car rental company which would show proof of ownership. So, after appealing to all the authorities including trying to get confirmation on our car from Chicago (the
coputers were down!!!), we went out and rented a beat up old SUV, parked our car in his lot for two days, and were admitted with no trouble.
What they didn't know was that the hole in the wall company were rented the car from was run by a Syrian emigrant and neither they or we bothered to check his credentials or foreign allegiances!
I should point out at I was discarged from Ft.Belvoir in 1945 and no one seemed to recognize me either. So mutch for the 'Army. I should also admit that Craig stopped in to Quantico to show us around and they just saluted him and waved him in in our suspect car. Maybe the Marines are better???
After we got our car back on Sunday morning, we drove back to DC to get some pictures of the memorial. But even at 8AM the crowds were big and my pictures will have lots of strangers in them.
Craig Harlan Hullinger AICP
17255 S. 66th Ct
Tinley Park, IL 60477-3105
708 532 8991