After dinner last night, Al Balderas, Diamond Leung and I went over to monuments along the mall. We did a LOT of walking. It’s a long way from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, especially on a humid night. But after that, we finally made it to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial shortly before midnight. The remnants of the Memorial Day ceremony held there only hours earlier were still there, hundreds of flowers and personal items left by surviving family members of those who gave their lives in the conflict. Someone had left a framed Western Union telegram from, I think it was 1966, informing a woman of her husband’s death after his Howitzer backfired on him. What struck me most, though, was just how eerily quiet it was. There were about a dozen people there, doing the same thing we were, even at that late hour. But out of respect, no one said a word. I had seen it before, in the daytime, but there was something about seeing it in the final minutes of Memorial Day, in the darkness, with only a few footlights shining up on it, and the monuments, completely lit up, visible in the distance. Thanks to everyone in the military for their dedicated, unselfish service to country and mankind. And thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.