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Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday - Vigil Day

Friday brings the Candlelight Vigil ceremony for Police Week.

Last year we participated as escorts for the families as they arrived at the Memorial for the Vigil. This year we all decided that we were going to forego that and have a little down time. Michelle actually left this morning to return home. John decided to hang out at the hotel for a bit and actually ended up getting a massage (really ?). Mark and I decided to go out and do a little sightseeing in DC.

So for those of you that have not been there here are a few photos.

The Washington Monument.

The Lincoln Memorial. An interesting fact that we learned on the tour bus. Abraham Lincoln was an advocate for the deaf and the use of sign language. When this monument was constructed this fact was not left out. When you look at Lincoln sittin in his chair his left hand is signing the letter "A" and his right the letter "L". Pretty neat.

It was at the Lincoln Memorial that Martin Luther King, Jr gave his infamous I Have A Dream speech. On the top steps of the Memorial there is an inscription on the very spot that his dais was set at the time he gave this speech. The photo on the right is standing on this spot looking out on the Mall as Dr. King would have that day. The reflection pool is undergoing some renovation at this time, but what a magnificent view. Hard to imagine having been there among a sea of hundreds of thousands of people at the time of his speech.

The Korean War Memorial.

The Pacific entrance side to the World War II Memorial. And a photo of the fountain in the middle of the Memorial. This is an impressive Memorial and we heard it is absolutely stunning after dark, maybe next time.

Of course the evening brought the Candlelight Vigil. This year since we did not participate in the welcoming ceremony we went in civilian clothes and stood to the rear of the crowd for a little different perspective. The ceremony is attended by about twenty thousand people. It is an impressive site. Craig Floyd leads the ceremony and this we the key speakers were Janet Napolitano and Eric Holden. Prior to the reading of the names inscribed on the wall this year is the lighting of candles. Here are a couple shots as we looked out on the mass and their upheld candles. There is also a blue laser light that goes from the dais where the speakers are. The photo on the left is where I tried to capture the laser as it fanned out. You can also faintly see it in the photo on the right.

This year there were 316 names read. This included the 150+ officers that were killed in the line of duty last year. The remaining names are those that were located by researchers as having died in the past. This year what is believed to be the first police officer ever killed in the line of duty was added.

I'll add an additional post a little later to cover the things that we did on our last day (Saturday).

Stand by ...

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