Monday, April 16, 2007

Weekend Visits

Mr. Jazz and I spent the weekend with family in Washington (well, Virginia actually) and I was thrilled to death to be leaving Montreal and it’s never ending snow. Of course, Washington (and most of the east coast) had never ending rain this weekend, but it wasn’t snow and it held out until late Saturday afternoon so Jazz was a happy camper. Basically, if it’s warmer than Montreal Jazz is a happy camper. So basically, if Jazz is anywhere other than Quebec, Jazz is a happy camper.

Saturday we went to the Mall – not the Mall as in Macy’s and JC Penney, the Mall as in the Capitol, the Washington monument, the Lincoln Memorial. And the Korean war Memorial, the Second World War Memorial and, of course, the Vietnam War Memorial.*

That one just turned me inside out. Wrung me out and threw me away. It’s simple, it’s powerful, it’s brilliant.

Walking along it, the wall getting higher and higher, dwarfed by the wall and all those names, those thousands of names.

Thousands of men and women, so many of them almost children still, all dead. For nothing.

What a senseless stupid waste.

Anyone who gets his/her country involved in a war should be obliged to go fight on the front lines.

Later: How ironic - Here I am bemoaning a senseless waste of life and I just found out about the Virginia Tech shooting... Why are these school shootings happening only in North America? What kind of a sick society are we living in?

* Funny, when Mr. Jazz and I went to Vietnam, they referred to it as the American War


Big Brother said...

We have been going to Washington my secondary 2 kids for the last couple of years and the Vietnam War memorial is one of the things that strikes them the most, especially when they realize that the wall is covered with the names of all the dead. The other visit that hits them hard is the Holocaust Memorial Museum, they line up to go in chattering and come up deeply silent. Good for them to see things that make them think.

Malnurtured Snay said...

Timely post! This shooting at VTEch is sickening.

geewits said...

Were the cherry blossoms in bloom? We went in April 2002 and just got lucky with the cherry trees. I was the same way about "the Wall." I liked how people were so quiet and reverential there, although it was very crowded. I also recommend the Corcoran for your next visit if you haven't been. It's one of the finest art museums in the U.S.

choochoo said...

I do hope there's reincarnation. I wanna go around again when I'm done. I like the whole life-thing.

Ian Lidster said...

The ironies of life, n'est ce pas? 'Who can explain it, who can tell you why? Fools give you reasons, wise men never try.'
Re your comment about mass slaughters being a North American phenomenon exclusively isn't entirely so, if you recall the slaughter of the elementary school kids in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996.
Very thoughtful post, Jazz.


mist1 said...

Great post. I haven't seen the wall in years.

Jazz said...

BB - I'd like to see the Holocaust museum, but with only a weekend, it wasn't possible. Not sure Mr. Jazz would be big on it though.

Snay - It is indeed

Geewits - Nope, we just missed the blossoms, even though it was the Cherry Blossom Festival. Too much wind and rain the previous week. Too bad.

ChooChoo - I'm not sure the world could deal with the likes of you a second time around.

Ian - I remember that one, but still, we might not have exclusivity, but we're pretty damn close...

Dan said...

Unfortunately people have been killing each other since they the beginning of time. It's a part of who we are.

But you know what else is a part of who we are? Mother Theresa, Chopin, Picasso and on and on and on.

The beauty is out there, shining brightly. When things like the Virginia Tech massacre happen, our lens gets fogged. But the beauty is still out there. It's just more difficult to see.

Jazz said...

Mist - It's powerful. I just stood there and cried like a baby.

Dan - Thanks for that. I've been rapidly losing my faith in mankind these days. I think I'll go listen to some Bach.

Jill said...

I've never seen the wall, but I plan to before I die. Part of me dreads it.