11-11-11 and then add “On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in Great War”, makes this year’s Veterans’ Day is one of those rare numerical calendar dates where all kinds of people expect cosmic changes both good and bad. I just wanted to reflect on the time when I lived in Washington DC in 2006, I took advantage of my surroundings to celebrate Veterans Day, provide some pictures as a remembrance and to give a few details on the specifications of the memorials. (And in a place like the nation’s capital…. How could you not!) It was a weekend so I was off of work. I headed out with my camera, back pack and a good pair of walking shoes.


I started out first at what I knew would be the emotionally hardest memorial and that was the Vietnam Wall. They had a stage set up for an array of oratories by veterans and family members. If you have ever been there before you know that the wall is sort of sunken into the ground so it appears in some of the pictures below that people are actually standing on the top of the wall, but it is actually flat ground. “Inscribed in the wall are the names of more than 58,000 men and women who were killed in the Vietnam War or who are still missing in action. A diamond next to the name indicates the person was killed, a cross indicates the person is missing. If a body is identified, the cross is circled.”

Not too far away is the memorial for Korea. This has 19 lifelike American soldiers making their way through the rough terrain of Korea. The statues stand about 7 feet tall & represent various branches of the armed forces including 14 Army personnel, 3 Marines, 1 Navy, and 1 Air Force; & represent an ethnic cross section of 14 Caucasians, 3 African-Americas, 2 Hispanics, 1 Oriental, and 1 Native American. Their wall is different from the Vietnam wall because instead of names there are faces etched in the marble. Designed from 15,000 photographs of various aspects of the war, surgeons, nurses, chaplains, and stretcher bearers looking forward into the eyes of the statues, crews building bridges, airfield construction, supply centers, radio communications officers, reporters and even canine corps.

From what I see, the WWII memorial is the most popular. It is by far the largest and has a variety of eye catching features such as the fountains, stone wreaths, stone etched quotes, and of course the 4,043 gold stars, with one star for each 100 soldiers who died.

I would have liked to have been at Arlington Cemetery for the President’s wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I did visit the site later on in the day. They were changing the wreaths on nearly an hourly basis.