Thursday, March 15, 2012

Perspectives on the Pentagon

Once a month, the powers that be at the Pentagon host a day for a group of wounded warriors and their families. Seth and I were supposed to go in December but then Seth got the bowel obstruction. We were supposed to go in January but then we somehow got left off the list. We finally got to go last Friday, March 9.

While I had been looking forward to it since December, Seth did not have the same enthusiasm. I'm not sure if it's because it meant a long walk for him or if touring an office building did not seem that compelling. Probably a bit of both. According to our guide, by the end of our tour, we had walked three and a half miles. I'm not convinced it was that far, but even if it wasn't, it was still the farthest Seth has walked on his prosthesis.

Our two buses got a police escort, which is really quite fun and entertaining, especially when we're on 495. That's a lot of traffic to hold up. At the Pentagon, each warrior got his/her own escort. When we were all where and with whom we should be, our guide led us around a corner where we were met by the applause and cheers of approximately 2000 Pentagon employees including generals, admirals and the like, while a small band played patriotic music. Many people came forward to thank the warriors, shake their hands or pat them on the back. Of course, I got a little teary. I think Seth was glad when it was over.

From there we had the typical tour that any tourist would get and learned fun facts such as the Pentagon Subway is the busiest Subway in the nation, selling approximately 6500 sandwiches a day.

 We took a break from the tour to have lunch in a dining room that normally requires men to wear jackets and ties. After eating, several representatives from different military organizations as well as generals and admirals came through to talk to the warriors and present them with military honor coins. Seth also got his picture taken with Miss D.C.

The highlight of the tour for me was our last stop: the memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The memorial included a book with a photo and biography of each victim. It was very moving to read about their lives, families, hopes and dreams. It was also a reminder of the devastation to real people and real lives, not just faces on TV. I'm thankful for such a beautiful tribute to them all.

1 comment:

  1. I love the pentagon tour! I was an escort a few times- the sea of red white and blue with camo when you wheel them down the hall with the staff clapping and such... gets me everytime!