Then again it began to turn around as we got off at the Memorials like Lincoln and Jefferson. We could see up the Mall and across water to skylines. We walked the later memorials of Vietnam, WWII and so on. But it was very dark and Russ was too tired to join me. For me something very important happened. When I was living in Yuma, Arizona in the early 70’s I met a pilot in the Marines named “Bo” Clarence Bates. This young captain had been in Vietnam as a Captain in the Army and did horrific ground duty. He switched to the Marines and piloting and when I lost touch he was going to Vietnam. I always wondered if he survived the war in Vietnam and was really glad to see his name did not appear on the Wall.
Another exciting part of the evening was the new memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King. It was so so touching. The sections on the wall, with important quotes just rung out. The stone he is cut out of-powerful stuff. Those of us who lived through civil rights and know the changes really got strong feelings from the experience. The woman I was walking with said, she told her kids that she would not be the president of a company in LA if not for the era and Dr. King. She is African American. She remembers her mother getting her up to see the March on Washington and other things. So we had fun just being of an age to share.