The next morning, which was Sunday, the autograph show
continued. The long lines of people
waiting for signatures were gone. That
would have been the day to try and get signatures.
You truly could have one on one time with the
astronauts on that second day. It would
serve as a lesson learned.
Since it was Memorial Day weekend, Mary and I decided to go
out to Arlington National
Cemetery and pay
our respects. Mary had never been there. We used the Metro to get out to Arlington. The Metro certainly does simplify traveling
around the Washington, DC
I wasn't sure how crowded the cemetery would be with it
being Memorial Day weekend. It was kind
of a wet rainy day though and while there were plenty of people; it
crowded as I had imagined it might be.
One of the first grave sites that we visited was the graves
of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. The
eternal flame provided warmth against the stark
damp day. On their graves someone had
placed a single red rose.
With it being Memorial Day all of the graves in the cemetery
appeared to be decorated with a small American flag.
The grass at the cemetery was lush and
green. From the Kennedy's grave site we
walked over to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There
was a large crowd their watching the changing
of the guard. Placed in front of the tomb
was a single
wreath of flowers. The lone guard, the
sky, and the damp air made it a very solemn setting.
Close to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier you can find the
grave of World War II hero Audie Murphy. Mary
is a distant cousin of Murphy; we wanted to
make sure we paid our
respects. His grave had a lot of
decorations. There were more flowers on
his grave than almost on any other. There
were also a considerable number of tokens on
his headstone which
was indicative of many visitors. We didn't know who left these flowers,
someone still cares for him after all these years.
Near to Murphy's grave was the Challenger Memorial and Dick
Scobee’s grave. I had seen these before,
but Memorial Day seemed to bring that space tragedy closer to home. Speaking of close to home, we saw the fresh
graves of Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark, and David Brown.
These were three of the astronauts who died
This hit close to home for us, because Mary
and I witnessed the Columbia breakup over the Texas
sky from our front yard.
The tragedy had just occurred a few short months before.
Another grave that I wanted to make sure we visited that day
was the grave of Astronaut Pete Conrad. This
was the first time that I had been back to Arlington
since Conrad's fatal motorcycle accident.
It took us a while to walk out to the section where Conrad
was buried but we finally found it. It
was an uphill walk and we didn't have the most comfortable shoes for
Conrad's head stone certainly stood out among all the rest. It was a huge polished black granite monolith
that stood out in stark contrast with the uniformity of the white head
that the covered the rest of the landscape.
In that same are we paid are respects to the graves of
Astronauts, Irwin, Eisele, Grissom, Chaffee, and C.C. Williams. One Apollo astronaut who was not buried in
that area was Apollo 14 Astronaut Stuart Roosa. It
surprised me that Roosa was not buried in close
proximity to his
As we walked back towards the Arlington National Cemetery
Visitors Center, we took a different path. We
walked down below the Tomb of the Unknown solider
this time instead
of above it.
We happened upon a small section of graves that included
Challenger pilot Michael Smith. Also in
that section was the grave of Boxer Joe Lewis. I
had seen their graves before, but didn't remember
exactly where they
Then, much to my surprise we found the grave of Stuart
Roosa! I was glad that we found it
before we left. Roosa’s headstone was
to Conrad's. It was larger than the
standard headstone and also made of black granite.
The ground was too wet for me to get a
reasonable photo of Roosa’s headstone. We
paid our respects and moved on.
By this time, Mary and I were getting tired of walking. Mary in particular was having problems. Her shoes had given her blisters.
Since she is shorter than me, she also winds
up walking more, to keep up with my longer stride.
We took the Metro back to our hotel. After
resting for a while, we called up my
friend Tom again and made arrangements for meeting up for dinner. This time we tried out another seafood
restaurant that was in walking distance of the hotel.
The name of this restaurant was McCormick and
Schmicks Seafood Restaurant.
Our dining experience there was anything but pleasant. The service was horrible.
They did not pay attention to Mary's dietary
need of no milk products on her plate. They
brought her food drenched in butter. When
we called this to the attention of the
waitress, she feigned not knowing that butter was a milk product.
The food was overpriced and really not all that good. Needless to say, that is the very last time
that Mary and I have eaten at a McCormick and Schmicks Seafood
Restaurant. After dinner we said our
good byes to Tom and
prepared for our flight out the next morning.