Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29, 2011

Day 5

Wednesday was the day we converged on the Capitol of the United States of America! It was also a day to relax (in a sense), because we had no workshop and no committee. Woohoo!!

6:40 a.m. Well, last night was interesting. Cheyenne finally got mad enough that she tried to leave, but poor Kay talked her into staying. (This…this is a long, long story. Too long to bother with explaining.) Today we’re going to Capitol Hill to brunch with our Congress people.

7:40 a.m. On the way to the Capitol. I’m starting to get hungry. And this bus is gonna make me seasick. (Because of the traffic, we would stop and start almost continually. If you were sitting up in your seat looking out the window (like I was), this would cause you to rock back and forth. Kinda humorous, actually.)

(My first view of the Capitol! Well, my first view in 10 years.)
(Another side of the Capitol. The statue up top is Lady Liberty, which no other statue in D.C. may be taller than.)
(Me, in front of the capitol, being silly.)
(I thought I should have a serious picture to go with the funny one.)
(All the Newton County kids in our glory. Front, L to R: Jesse, Abbie, Madelaine, and Kim. Back, L to R: me, Jackson, and Victoria.)
(All of us with Jeremy, our patient and worldly-wise chaperone.)
(The gawgeous Newton County gals in front of the pretty flowers.)
(All 47 Missouri delegates and their chaperones.)
We started by meeting for brunch with Senator Roy Blunt and his aides. We questioned them about congressional issues or the general congressional process.
We then toured almost the entire Capitol building: the old and the new!
(This is a chandelier in the old Senate Chambers.)
(A decoration in the old Senate house.)
Later in the day, we also met with Senator Claire McCaskill. She talked to us about being informed, involved citizens in our communities.
(The delegates with Senator McCaskill.)
1:50 p.m. My feet are so tired, and you could fit the Statue of Liberty in the main rotunda of the Capitol.
(This is the ceiling of said rotunda.)
Our last meeting was with Representative Billy Long, or more precisely, his aides. Rep. Long was unfortunately occupied.
2:23 p.m. Wow, this is bad. I’m fighting sleep during our meeting with Billy Long’s aides. I am so tired…. (They really did have good things to say, but I was seriously tired.)
After touring the Capitol, we went to the Library of Congress. I was very impressed by the architecture and art in this building.
(The first thing you see when you walk through the doors.)
(Nearly all of the stone in the Library of Congress is granite from New Hampshire.)
(I took this to validate my brothers’ claims that they are gods in flesh. Or something like that.)
(I took this for the benefit of myself and my best friend, who are both voracious readers.)
(I loved the ceiling.)
(No, this has nothing to do with the Library of Congress. I tried to convince Jeremy to rent a few for our trip to the Kennedy Center, but he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. Oh well.)
For dinner, we went to a shopping mall to eat and shop. The food was good, but I laughed when I compared my spending money to the price of stuff. I tried to be very frugal with my money, and I didn’t consider a $250 pair of heels to be frugal.
6:17 p.m. Clay bought a $150 pair of sunglasses with a 2 year warranty. I can’t believe it! Oh, and I can’t shop at shoe stores here, either. I’m too poor! Hahahahaha!!
After dinner, we went to the Air Force Memorial. I thought this one was the prettiest memorial, “artistically” speaking.
(My view from the bus window.)
Since airmen who die in combat have no ground as their “final resting place,” this memorial provides that.
The three metal spires depict a bomb-burst: a flight trick done by three airplanes.
(This statue was copied from a photograph.)
The next memorial was almost as sobering as Arlington. But in a way, it was a beautiful place to just quietly reflect.
The Pentagon Memorial is a large gravel area positioned in front of the wall of the Pentagon that the airplane hit.
(The plane struck at 9:37 in the morning.)
“We will forever remember our loved ones, friends, and colleagues.”
The gravel area is filled with rows of benches: 184 total. Each row represents a year, and each victim has a bench in the year they were born. This displays the range of ages of the victims.
(This was the youngest victim. She was 7. Seven years old. Her whole family died on the plane, including her older sister, who was 9. The same age as I was when 9/11 happened. That one really got to me.)
(This was the oldest victim. He was 71.)
Also, depending on the direction of the benches, you would know if the victim died on the plane or in the Pentagon.  If the bench pointed towards the Pentagon, the victim was on the plane. If the bench pointed away from the Pentagon, the victim was in the building.
8:27 p.m. So the wall in the Pentagon that Flight 74 hit was a newly remodeled one, finished 2 days before 9/11. The Pentagon was a weak concrete structure, and they were reinforcing one side at a time. If the plane had hit any other wall, it could have gone completely through the Pentagon. As it was, most of the offices located in that wall were still empty, and so a lot less people were killed.
Day 5 was a long day of touring. But the next day, we would finish our work, and get a little culture!
Day Five’s Lesson:
Manners are a good thing to own. Being versatile is a helpful skill in life.

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