Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DC Sept 15, 2010

Our third day of the trip, starting to get tired, got blisters on my feet, Brent is tired. We're 10 years older than the next oldest people, and 25 years older than the rest of them! Wow, what a trip, we're having fun though and learning a lot.

DC Sept 14, 2010

Today started early. We left at 7:00 to be to the Willard Hotel to meet Rob Bishop for a tour of the White House. We had to have security clearance prior to getting tickets. Bishop gave us trivia and information about all the places on the way to the White House, very interesting. We got a guided tour, couldn't sit down or move around on our own.
Then we went to the Ford Theater where President Lincoln was shot and read all about that, even saw the box where he sat when he was shot. That was informative.
We were all dragging by then and had a full schedule in the afternoon. We found a Potbelly Sandwiches place, ate lunch and felt much better.
Next was the Pentagon to visit Bret Lambert, an assist secretary of Defense Department. He talked a lot, we asked him questions that he sometimes answered, sometimes skirted around. Brent asked him about a paper that he'd written and he was "surprised" that we got it because it wasn't public. Brent didn't back down though, and he finally sort of addressed Brent's question.
We then met with people from Bob Bennet's office about other issues, they really listened. During this meeting, the senate was voting on the issues we were talking about. I kind of felt hopeful after this meeting.
Funny how one meeting gives you hope, the next one you can feel like there's nothing you can do to change anything. It wears me out. No wonder I don't like politics.
We went into the Supreme Court Building for a tour, beautiful statues, all marble walls and floors. Washington DC is very elegant, the buildings are ornate and symbollic.
Elliot came here for a choir tour during his Junior year. We're seeing some of the places that he came home and told us about. He really pays attention, I remembered a lot of things he said about different places.
We met with Senator Orin Hatch about ATK. Funny, when he asked us if we had questions, he'd stop us after 3-4 words then give his own answer without really listening to what we STARTED to ask and go on to his political agenda. His office prepared binders for us about what he'd accomplished and insisted that we all took one for ourselves, even though two of us were spouses and didn't need them.
We tried to get in for a tour of a building, and after they'd passed all of us through security, they told us that the building was now closed. Brent has metal in the soles of his shoes, so he has to take them off every time he goes through a metal detector site. He is getting tired of it... The rest of us just laugh though.
After dinner we met Rob Bishop for a tour of the Capitol. He was a great tour guide, knows a lot of information, explained a lot of rooms and decor, symbolisms and history. It was fascinating to go to where the senate had just been on C-span TV, where the congressmen meet, the House and the Senate rooms, and different areas. All marble, gold-leafing, and elegant sites. We got to stand on the center of the center of Washington DC, saw beautiful statues, took the underground sidewalks to the buildings, and toured until 10:45pm. We were beat when we got home. What an exciting and wonderful day we've had together. I'm so glad I get to share it with my sweetheart.

Monday, Sept 13, 2010

Today we got up and went sight-seeing, we're lucky because Scott Erickson, Rob Bishop's assistant, is with us in the chamber group and he is a fantastic tour guide. He knows how to get around on the Met, a subway rail system, knows the places to tour and how to get there, and knows where to eat.
We went to Arlington Cemetery. We walked around the cemetery, went through Robert E. Lee's home there, saw the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, JFK's grave. The feeling there is very reverent, there's a presence of those spirits who have died there. We saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Inscripted is something like "The Soldier known only to God". The guards that work at the site are on it for two years at a time, they don't speak when they're on duty, and as I understand it, they don't have much communication with anyone else during those two years. The cemetery is on rolling hills, lots of stairs and hills. It was a great experience. Of course I was the last one in the group because I couldn't keep up.

We went to the Holocaust Museum. This is a three level museum about Hitler and the Jewish people in the late 1930's. We saw how they were tortured, told they were going to have a shower, all had to strip down. They were crowded into a chamber and killed with poisonous gas. The bodies were then burned, but not before their heads were shaved so the Germans could sell the hair for insulation, mattress fillers or pillows. By the time I left there I was nauseated and sickened. This was happening when my parents were children, in their life-time.
We then went up to the Congressman Rob Bishop's office to meet with Steve Petersen who is setting up all sorts of appointments for the Chamber Board to meet with boards/groups of people who can change what is going on with solid rocket fuel production. He has been able to arrange for more meetings for us than we thought we'd get. Rob Bishop came in, shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, met for a few minutes with us.

Washington DC

September 12, 2010. Brent and I went to Washington DC with the Brigham City Chamber Executive Board to talk to congressmen and senators about how shutting AK Thiokol down would impact the Box Elder Comminuty. We left on Sept 12 at 8:00am for the airport. We flew into Mineapolis, Minnesota where we had to get off the plane for an hour. Then we got back on it and flew into Indianapolis, Indiana for a lay-over, finally we flew into DC and rode to the hotel. We ate a late dinner @ a sports bar. Lots of TVs, Yelling, Cheering, and noise. We have an early start tomorrow. It's been a long day.