Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Day in D.C.

I had seen the Washington D.C. temple twice before. Once in 1979 while on tour with the BYU Philharmonic; once in 1994 when we made a July 4th trip here with the kids. This, however, was the first time I had entered its walls. 
Potts and I spent the morning serving as proxies for deceased married couples who had not had the opportunity to be sealed together or to their children for time and eternity while in mortality.

Randy was also asked to act as proxy husband for an elderly woman who came to the temple to be sealed to her spouse who had passed away. It was a very touching moment for Randy and for all who were in the room. His name was Edwin Fletcher Crittenden. I am certain he was there too, to witness this very joyous event.

We met up with Joe and Emily and ventured into the heart of D.C. by Metrorail.

First Stop: Good Stuff Eatery
Joe had done the research on line for the best burger joint in D.C. 
Absolutely Delicious! Randy and I gave it four thumbs up! I am embarrassed to say that I chose the "Obama Burger" despite the name. I DO NOT find the man himself tasty or delicious, but the burger on the other hand.... MMMMM. It was topped with caramelized onions, blue cheese and horseradish sauces. Hands down the best tasting burger I have ever experienced. 

Next: The Holocaust Memorial Museum. We had planned ahead with tickets obtained online.

Such a moving experience. I had a lump in my throat that I couldn't swallow. What a dark time in history. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Jewish people. Maybe it is because my own great-great-great grandfather, Alexander Neibaur, was a Jew. Fortunately for him and his posterity, he immigrated to the United States in 1841 as the first Jew to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of my dark brown eyes and dark eyebrows, my own Gammie called me her "little Jewish Rebecca."
Tower of Faces
Tower of Faces: this three-story tower displays photographs from the Yaffa Eliach Shtetl Collection. Taken between 1890 and 1941 in Eishishok, a small town in what is now Lithuania, they describe a vibrant Jewish community that existed for 900 years. In 1941, an SS mobile killing squad entered the village and within two days massacred the Jewish population.

Hard to view was the hallway filled on both sides with actual shoes along with this transcription:

"We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.

We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers,
From Prague, Paris and Amsterdam,
And because we are only made of fabric and leather
And not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hellfire." 
--Moishe Shulstein

Randy and I took our time reading... viewing. Unfortunately, we only made it through the atrocities of the death camps when it was announced that the museum was closing. We were quickly ushered out a side hallway and missed the entire floor of the stories of escape and rescue and hope. My heart was left heavy. I will have to return and finish... Next time.

"Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children's children."
--compare Deuteronomy 4:9

And last:

The National Museum of Natural History

The skeletal remains and dinosaur bones were much more cheery and uplifting!

This museum housed an exhibit of amazing nature photography. You will enjoy this slide presentation of these award winning photographs.

Randy and I have decided that we will have to come visit Emily and Joe annually while they are here to take in a couple more museums, memorials and to eat at our now favorite GOOD STUFF EATERY!

But for now, our trip east had come to a close. 
We kissed our little buddy who slept soundly in his car seat.

And kissed our own baby doll good-bye until next time.

Many flights going out of the Baltimore airport were delayed due to heavy rain storms.
But we got lucky. The skies cleared and our direct flight home left pretty much on time. 
What an amazing few days. Can't wait until we can come again.

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