On our first trip to the Moving Wall, I was a little surprised. There was a big crowd, but the experience didn't take on the somber feeling that I thought it would. The crown was milling around the wall, kids were running around, and babies were screaming. It seemed more like tourist attraction than a memorial for people to pay their respects. I'm happy to say that I don't know anyone who has their name on the wall and I'm sure that had something to do with the way I felt
With the sun setting behind the wall, I knew I had to come back early in the morning when the light would much better for photography. I was up early the next day and at the wall just before sunrise. I was the only one there besides the volunteers working at the memorial. Being at the Wall by myself gave the memorial a completely different mood than it had the day before. This was the somber feeling that I was expecting to experience. Being there alone gave me the time to explore the Wall and the letters, and memorials that others had left behind in remembrance of their lost loved ones.
Reading the words that others had left behind, with tears in my eyes, was the experience that I hoped I would feel at the Wall.
As the sun got higher in the sky a few people started to trickle in. Seeing these small numbers of people quietly paying their respects, and looking for the names of their loved ones really reinforced the true meaning of what the Wall stands for. The Wall is not meant to be a "tourist attraction" which is the feeling I got on that first day. Seeing, and feeling the true meaning of what the Wall represents made me happy that I choose to go back and experience the Wall by myself.
Spending time viewing The Moving Wall was a great experience for me. It reinforced my desire to visit Washington D.C. to see The Wall.
A big thank you to all of the brave men and women of our armed forces. Your service to our country does not go unnoticed.