We returned yesterday from the Washington DC area. We went there to help our daughter and son-in-law get ready for their move back to Utah and to bring our grandson back with us on the plane. While there we did a little sight-seeing. These first two pictures were taken at the Mary Serratt house where Mary's husband ran a tavern and she ran a boarding house. She was the first woman found guilty and executed in America. There's plenty of evidence to suggest she was a conspirator in Abraham Lincoln's death, but there are discrepencies too, which were not fully explored at the time. Defendants weren't even allowed to speak in their defense at that trial. Since this year is a year of female firsts with Hillary Clinton being the first real female contender for President and Sarah Pallin the first female Republican contender for VP, I found something sad in Mary's dubious honor as a "first" female.
George and Martha Washington had no children together, but Martha had children from an earlier marriage. This statue at Mount Vernon shows the first president and his wife with two of her grandchildren. Mount Vernon is more than a grand mansion; it's practically a village with all of the shops, housing, and businesses attached to the plantation. I especially liked the view from the back porch of the Potomoc River. My grandson posed with the Washington family statues. Though Washington was a slaveholder, he housed his slaves in comfortable quarters, kept families together, then freed them in his will. He even kept a nice house for the slaves of visitors so that his slaves wouldn't be inconvenienced.
Much is said about the devestation New York faced when the Twin Towers were hit by terrorists on nine-eleven. We even hear about the heroes who fought back and were lost in Pennsylvania, but not as much attention seems to be given to the passengers on the flight that struck the Pentagon or those who were at work in that busy military complex that day. We visited the recently completed memorial at the Pentagon and were deeply touched. Not all who lost their lives that day were military officers. There were children and families aboard the plane as well as the soldiers in the Pentagon of all ranks who were spending their lives defending freedom and liberty. In the background behind the memorial benches can be seen the Airforce memorial.
Our son-in-law, a hero of this generation, was injured by enemy action in Iraq and has spent two years recuperating. We're thrilled he's coming home, but hurt for the pain and memories he'll carry with him for the remainder of his life. Their little family will also carry with them painful memories of separation and fear, but they'll also have warm and wonderful memories of their two years in Washington and the generosity of the many Americans who arranged outings and special events for the wounded and their families. I want to thank you, all my friends, who have sent him good wishes, cheered me when I was down, and expressed your love and support for our family and our country.