Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Paying my Respects

I was in Washington, D.C. for the first time last weekend. I decided I wanted to go visit my friend who lives near there (in Silver Spring, MD, about one block from the D.C. border) during peak season for the cherry blossoms, to try and make the ugliness of the place seem more sublime. I think it worked, because even though I did almost have to punch a nosey hippy, I managed to restrain myself, even whilst whiskey drunk.*

I devoted Saturday to seeing the National Mall, which was underwhelming, I suppose. Up until this point, my geographical knowledge of D.C. came only from Fallout 3, so you can imagine my disappointment when there were no piles of rubble to avoid by walking the metro. The Jefferson Monument and George Mason garden were the best parts by far. I took a moment to apologize to both men (well, statues) for our current state of governance, and enjoyed the cool breeze that seemed to only be blowing on that side of the Tidal Basin (which was, coincidentally flooded from recent rains).

On Sunday, I devoted the day to visiting Arlington Cemetery, with a (fairly) brief stop beforehand at the Air and Space Museum. I was deeply saddened by my inability to find any mention of Colonel John Boyd therein, though it could be that I somehow missed what may be there. And that brings me to my next visit: Arlington.

Before leaving Milwaukee, I looked for information on the good Colonel's grave site, and was unable to find anything other than the section and plot number (Sec. 60, Marker 3660). I was looking for either a map or GPS coordinates. That's alright, though, as it gave me a mission. I collected the coordinates and some pictures. This was really the highlight of my trip, as out of the thousands and thousands of graves, Col. Boyd's seemed third in visitors only to the Unknown Soldier and JFK. There was a large stack of rocks (most non-local, I can only imagine some, if not all, were from current theatres of war) and other trinkets, including what looked like unit insignia coins. For those looking in the future, the final resting place of this great man who saved so many countless lives through his brilliance in both aeronautics and tactic (including besting many Generals in the Pentagon), is located at N38 52.5816' W077 03.9072', 52 feet above sea level.

Colonel, rest in peace, and be assured that your contributions have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

*Okay, seriously I had promised my wife she wouldn't A) see me on the news, and B) have to make bail for me.

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