When planning a trip to Washington, D.C., you should allow a lot of time for sightseeing. We have gone many times, because we have family that lives in the area, and have yet to visit some of the predominant tourist attractions – like the White House, the Jefferson Memorial, the Holocaust Memorial, Ford’s Theatre.
With that in mind, just imagine what little we were able to see following the Restoring Honor rally. We actually had only about four hours and decided we needed to use our time to see what we could as we walked from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument and beyond, on our way back to Union Station.
We first visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, just north of the Reflecting Pool, where a few men of the Rolling Thunder were visiting. Their distinctive vests are indicative of their mission to publicize POW-MIA issues. Many people were at the Wall, searching for names, a few making rubbings of names. The west end of the memorial is marked by an impressive statue of soldiers.
At the east end of the Reflecting Pool is the World War II Memorial, with its distinctive columns for each state. We paused to have our picture made in front of Oklahoma’s column, of course.
From there we walked to the Washington Monument. Because we had been there before, and because it was very crowded, we elected to continue down the Mall. We bypassed the Smithsonian’s main buildings, and went to the National Museum of the American Indian. I failed to take pictures here, however, because that is where we stopped to eat.
Eating in the cafeteria of the museum was an interesting and educational experience. The Mitsitam Native Foods Café is divided into five sections representing the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains. Food served at each of these is traditional to the tribes that have populated those areas. From bison steak to Indian tacos, the meats indicated the animals that were hunted in each. Likewise, fruits and vegetables that were cultivated in the areas were prepared with Native American recipes. This was a unique experience.
Fifty-five hours on a bus and 12 hours for the rally and sightseeing … Some people think we must have a few screws loose, but the opportunity to experience such an inspirational few hours was well worth it. Granted, if the opportunity comes again, we will book our flights early; but we will be there!