Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day Two

Today we woke up, and the sun was shining down on our bustling Capital city. Strolling the streets of DC makes my neck hurt. I'm constantly swiveling my head around because around every corner is another famous sight. We left the hotel, passed by the White House, and started our day. First stop, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This was on Hung's list of must visit sights.  Seeing the names on the wall evoked more emotion than I expected to feel. Hearing a man in his 80's call over to his wife, softly say "I found him" and then to watch him press his hand to the wall, fingers brushing over a name that was likely his son, reminded me that too many families have made enormous sacrifice.  Hung was feeling his own set of emotions.  So we sat on a bench for a while, to think, and to say thanks.

Our next stop was the Holocaust museum.  In retrospect, we should have picked a venue slightly more uplifting for our second stop.  The Museum's mission is to disseminate information about the tragedy and to preserve the memory of its victims.  We spent an hour moving through the top floor but felt like we needed sunshine and laughter.  This is a Museum that deserves multiple visits and moments of reflection, we will visit again.

Once we hit the sidewalk, we spent the afternoon wandering.  When hunger hit, we popped into a Spanish restaurant in Chinatown for a Tapas snack (that's right Tapas in Chinatown).  

Tonight we were lucky enough to have dinner with an exceptional young lady.  Sarah is the eldest daughter of our good friends, Dave and Julia. We were thrilled when she agreed to have dinner with us.  We met her at Bistrot du Coin in Dupont Circle and for two hours she entertained us with a stories of living in this exciting city as a recent college graduate. We were reminded and inspired by the enthusiasm of her generation. She is energized by the presidential election, and her words reflect a conviction that she can affect change -- that she can make a difference. She currently serves our government, has been studying Arabic, has just started her first class in American Sign Language, and hopes to volunteer in Africa next year with her father. Sarah is not our future; she is the hear & now. We salute Sarah and all the bright, young leaders that refuse to give into the political cynicism and are striving to make a difference.

Sarah and I at Bistrot Du Coin


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