The fam and I are taking a little break. We drove down to Virginia on Saturday. Let my daughter drive for about an hour. White-knuckling the arm rests sure does take a lot out of ya. After we caught our breath and got our blood pressure back down to normal, the rest of the trip went off without a hitch.
The hotel we’re staying at is really nice. It’s a two bedroom suite in Herndon, VA, with its own kitchenette and three TV’s so everyone can pretty much watch what they want. It’s nice. Two bathrooms makes it easier, too.
On Sunday we took a trip over to Arlington to visit my father-in-law’s grave. I never met the man – he died before my wife and I connected – but it was still humbling. Just driving through the cemetery is a humbling experience. Endless fields of grave markers clearly demonstrate the cost of freedom.
Afterwards, we drove over and parked by the paddle boats near the Jefferson Memorial. Spent a little time reading some of the words etched in stone around that monument, and thinking how little our current government seems to be operating by the principles Jefferson espoused. I particularly liked this one:
I have sworn before the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
Consider that one in the context of political correctness! And then there’s this one:
Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens . . . are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion . . . No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.
I particularly like that one, especially in context of the Left’s fascination with all things Islamic these days. Does anyone really believe that Jefferson would have submitted to paying the jizya? Or that he would have supported the blasphemy laws found under Shariah?
And just in case people take the above quote to suggest atheism is better, consider this one:
God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.
After seeing Jefferson and reading his quotes, honestly, the rest of the monuments we saw were a bit of a let down. FDR’s memorial is, frankly, tainted by his progressivism. Hurray for Social Security – ’cause that’s just done so many wonderful things for our country. People forget that churches, charities and religious institutions were getting the job done of feeding the poor during the Great Depression. It was governmental interference in the market that both caused the problem (the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act), as well as prolonged it. Not that I want to get into a lengthy debate here. Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial was okay, except that he looked so grim-faced. And nowhere in the memorial are any of his immortal words from the “I have a dream” speech. Is it because we really do want to judge people by the color of their skin and not the content of their character? Or are any judgments on a person’s character due to the color of their skin? I think not. Given that our current President is half-black, half-white, would it be appropriate to say I don’t like the white half of him because it’s plagued by liberal cultural Marxism?
I’ll take tongue out of cheek now. 🙂
We also climbed the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. He didn’t have nearly as much as Jefferson had, but I did like this quote from his second inaugural:
Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray— that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’
After that, we wandered around the World War II Memorial (still under construction) and the Washington Monument (still under repair), and then headed back–footsore and weary. Spent the rest of our evening ensconced in our room, cozy and warm, reading or enjoying some shows on TV.
This morning I woke to eight inches of snow on the ground and closings everywhere. Felt right at home. Fortunately, though, not all the museums are shut down, so I’m hoping we can hop over to Air and Space and maybe another one and not lose the day just ’cause these poor southerners don’t know how to handle a little precipitation.
Yeah, that tongue’s found its way back to my cheek again.
And I hope we’ll actually get a chance – probably in the next two days – to get up to the Old Post Office tower. I’ll leave you fans of Jefferson’s Road to guess why… 🙂