earlier this year when Mr F went to a conference in Washington D.C., he invited me to join him. We stayed near Dupont Circle, at the funky Helix Hotel –
in walking distance of the White House, the free museums and War Memorials on the Mall. I walked miles each day. One morning I came upon this protest outside the White House
this sculpture by Marino Marini in the Hirschorn Museum Sculpture garden was my favorite
The simple polished black stone of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial lists the names of the 58,209 young Americans who died or are missing
Did you know that about 5.1 million Vietnamese died in the war?
1.1 million in the North Vietnamese army, 2 million civilians in the north,
and 2 million civilians in the south.
At the Korean War Memorial archival photographs were etched onto a black granite wall, which also reflects the nineteen larger than life-size figures dressed in full combat gear creeping among juniper bushes.
Dead in the Korean war:
United States: 54,246, United Nations: 628,833
2.5 million North Korean soldiers and civilians
1.5 million South Korean soldiers and civilians
1 million Chinese soldiers and civilians
and many more
We spent a sobering afternoon at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Tears ran down my cheeks as I looked at a photo of a number tattooed on an arm. An American teenage girl next to me, lazily chewing a big wad of gum turned to her friend and said, “Hey that’s a cool tattoo, don’t you think,?”
“Ohmygod I love it!” said her friend also chewing gum.
So many things I wanted to say and wished I’d said, but I was speechless.
When you enter the museum you’re given an Identification Card of a real person who lived during the Holocaust. Women are given cards of females – mine told the story of Kato Dicker Nagy: a Jew who was born in Hungary in 1912. When she arrived with her baby boy at Auschwitz a man whispered to her, “Give your baby to an older woman who will stay with him while you’re working. In the evening you’ll see him again.” She passed her baby to an elderly woman and begged her to take care of him, and never saw him again. She was liberated from Mauthausen in 1945.
Mr F’s card told the story of Stefan Moise, a gypsy born in Romania in 1923 who learned to play the violin as a young child and performed in restaurants all over Moldavia with his father, who played guitar. In 1942 he, his wife and sister were sent by cattle car to Transnistria where they were left to starve in open fields. He ran away, got a job playing violin in an hotel in Odessa until 1944, when he had to enlist in the Romanian army. After the war reunited with his wife, he worked as a musician.”