Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Surprises and Adventures Continue

It’s the third day, and I still have been getting the same amount of sleep every day. But this is okay, because luckily, today was our “off day”, since it is Independence Day. Nonetheless, an “off day” for us still means a very busy day, especially because we were in our nation’s capital for the 4th of July. From morning to late at night, our day was for the most part, full.

Just a nice biblical quote

I liked the sign, especially with the White House behind it.

After breakfast, we headed out to the National Mall by bus. From there, we began to take many pictures when we first encountered many gigantic buildings, like the National Treasury and the statues of people of historical importance, like Jackson. As we kept walking, we found the front of the White House (not the back like yesterday) and the Washington Monument, taking many more lovely pictures.

D.C. still wasn’t very busy, that is until we waited for the parade to start. It was nice to rest after quite a bit of walking already in this humid heat, but I could tell that the city was now filling up. We didn’t stay for the entire parade. We only watched a few floats, a few singers, and a few marching bands (although there were a lot of bands since there were--we heard--over a 100 different performances), before we decided that we just didn’t have enough time to watch the whole parade. So, after, we decided to go to our first museum, the Holocaust Museum.

Uncle Sam: giant size
I’m so glad my cohort wanted to go to the Holocaust Museum, because this was actually the number one thing I wanted to do here. My mother told me the museum had so much information and that when she was there, she spent countless hours reading and looking at everything there was. She was right; the museum was very informative, keeping me interested the whole time there (not all museums are the most interesting to me). I knew a lot about the Nazi Germany and World War II, because you learn a lot about them in AP U.S. History and World History. I knew about their propaganda tactics, their brutality towards the Jews, and especially about Adolf Hitler, since I wrote an extensive research paper in the 10th grade about how he was able to rise and maintain his supremacy over Germany for so long. However, in terms of getting really personal with certain Jews about their experience and the rescuers, I wasn’t as knowledgeable, until I came to this museum.
A very philosophical quote by Dwight Eisenhower
In addition, the museum was very specific giving me the names of all the concentration camps and ghettos that the Jewish people had to live in. One thing that did surprise me greatly, however, was when I saw the map of all the concentration camps, death camps, and ghettos that were all over Europe. There were so many; there had to be at least one of these just a few miles apart from each other. This just goes to show how much effort the Nazis took just to exterminate a generation of a race.  

Hannah and I were given a little head-start on our Lived Religion course. We watched a fifteen minute video about anti-Semitism toward the Jews. This seemingly can be traced back to the times of Christ. Christ was a Jew himself, and all of his followers were too. However, later, Christians would blame the Jews for killing the Messiah. Rome’s religion then became Christianity, and so their anti-Semitism continued to grow, and the rest is history. It wasn’t until the late 20th century would the Vatican take out of their records that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus Christ. To be honest, I still think there is a lot of bullying towards these people, and hopefully it will stop soon. It makes me sad, just typing about this place, so I’ll just stop there. Anyway, we stopped by the museum's café to eat lunch; it was nice and light.

At the Air and Space Museum
After eating, we made our way to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I thought all the museums and monuments in the D.C. would be closer, but now I know that I was very wrong to think that. It took a while to get to this museum, but when we did, we explored many things inside this enormous place. It was my second time coming to this museum, and the girls kept telling me that I should lead them because I’ve been there before. But honestly, I didn’t remember anything except for plenty of airplanes and rockets, and that’s what I told them. The place was huge, and super busy. A rock band by some military members was playing inside the museum, and this place was definitely much more lively than the mellow feeling of the Holocaust Museum.
In front of the original Wright Brothers plane!
After that, we walked to a huge grass field near the Washington Monument to wait for the famous fireworks.  It was great to be able to chill for a little bit after a long day of walking. The fireworks were absolutely amazing; I have never seen fireworks this close before, nor have I seen them that big! It was a great way to end the night. Before blogging, we got some pizza and took them in the hotel room.

Well, I guess we can call it a night. Happy Fourth of July!

1 comment:

  1. Chris,

    There have been many discussions over the years about the amount of men and resources that the Germans expended to exterminate a race that could have been used for the war movement.

    Instead of using their trains to ship Jews they could have used their trains to ship soldiers and munitions.

    Instead of killing the Jews they could have used the Jews for the war movement.

    Instead of using hundreds of thousands of soldiers to round up and kill the Jews they could have been used to defeat the Allies.

    Forget about the humanity involved with the systematic destruction of a people, it’s a waste of resources.

    It’s like the way the Germans decided to take on the East and the West at the same times instead of destroying one side and then moving to destroy the other.

    Just not very smart thinking.

    That’s what happens when hatred takes over.