How can I describe in words what I can barely comprehend myself? As I was standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, I was in awe that I was actually there. In just a short amount of time I have felt blessed by God to not only see some amazing sights with family, but also to be reminded of the great sacrifices many have made for our freedom.
Following are a few of the spectacular sights we saw today, and after that will be my thoughts on the Visitation Service tonight, along with a video I put together to try to capture the feelings I had when seeing the war memorials. Enjoy!
The Washington Monument is a thrill to see, no matter what angle! Quite a few of my pictures ended up including this monument.
This is at the base of the Washington Monument. It was encircled by numerous United States flags. Isn't it beautiful?
The Lincoln Memorial . . . simply breathtaking! Lots of steps and lots of people (and lots of wetness from the rain), but what a view from where Lincoln sits!
Here is Lincoln! (Much more imposing "in person"--as a statue--than this picture shows!) I confess that I thought about Night at the Museum 2 when approaching this monument. =)
The reflecting pool looks like a bridge (in this view) from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial (which is where I was standing while taking this picture). What an incredible sight!
And of course I had to include a picture of the White House! I didn't get very close (as you can see from this picture), but it was neat to see it in the distance just the same!
After we returned from seeing these great sights, we rested (well, technically I worked on stuff for this blog!), ate a group dinner at the hotel, and then we met to go to Murphy Funeral Home for the Visitation Service.
And wow--talk about moving! Hearing about the lives of those seven men, including my great uncle, was both wonderful and deeply touching. My great uncle was only in his early twenties when he died, and seeing him and some of the other members of his squadron in pictures was hard. He was so young!
But I do know this: they died for a noble cause. We were privileged to hear from a couple of the men who were part of the group my great uncle was bringing supplies to when the plane crashed. It brought me to tears to hear them say that my great uncle was on his way to help preserve lives when his own was lost. These were real men, loved and missed by their families, and honored by the country they served. And being reminded of the stories of these men encouraged me even more to write, because if it's God's will I want to share stories that will be real . . . stories that God can use in a real way.
This following video shows pictures of memorials that honor these great men and so many others who gave their all for those of us who don't appreciate their efforts nearly as much as we ought. How can we ever show enough gratitude to those who paid the ultimate price? How can we ever show enough gratitude to their loved ones who let them go? And how can we ever even come close to showing enough gratitude to God--who sent His own Son to die for us, offering us a chance to go home and truly be free?