Fly Me to the Moon
After a slow Summer, guiding in D.C. has picked up with a mix of traveling adults and students arriving to take in the sites.
My favorite place continues to be Arlington National Cemetery, a unique setting because of its sacred nature, beauty and history.
It’s about to become a slightly less favorite place as Cemetery officials implement security screening in order to enter.
A 624-acre facility mostly surrounded by an easily scalable wall will now have two screening checkpoints which oddly presumes that any nefarious visitors will dutifully line up to be checked out prior to entering.
One wonders if the Department of the Army uses the same perimeter security plan in Afghanistan where they expect intruders to be screened prior to entry?
In any event, visitors to Arlington Cemetery should now add an extra thirty minutes to a planned visit there.
I toured with an especially rascally group of eighth-graders last week who continually failed to get the point about being reasonably quiet when inside national memorials.
As we returned to the bus at one point and as they were being counted, I told the bus driver we would be short on the count as I had thrown three boys in the reflecting pool.
On our visit to Arlington we were about to walk up to the Kennedy grave site.
We stopped short of it to talk about the president where I asked the students what they knew about JFK.
One student pointed out that he had set the goal of landing a man on the moon.
I asked who was the first man to walk on the moon?
A hand shot up, “Neil Armstrong”, was the answer.
Checking the depth of their knowledge I asked who was the second person.
Another hand in the air.
“Go ahead”, I said.
“Louis Armstrong”, he said.
“Wrong but priceless” was my response as any of my residual irritation melted away in fits of laughter.