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Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

58,278 Names Etched In Granite

Names on the Vietnam Memorial in Washingtoon

 

A visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC is an emotive experience.

One need not be a military veteran nor even an American citizen to recognize the immense power of this extraordinary artwork, which pays tribute to those a generation ago who went to a faraway land and never returned home alive.  It was our most tragic — and I might add senseless — military conflict.

I lived in Washington, DC for 12 years.  During that time, many friends and relatives visited what remains a mesmerizing city.  I always used those special occasions to travel around our capital, playing amateur guide to our nation’s most impressive monuments.  For me, each accompanying visit was a reminder.  A reinforcement of what patriotism really means.

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Jefferson Memorial and so many other attractions are powerful places to visit.  They should be seen by everyone.  In fact, I’ll go so far to say that every American has an obligation to make at least one trip to our nation’s capital to see and experience these sites firsthand.  I’m not even sure one can really call himself or herself a true American without having stood next to these structures which represent the very essence of our nation.

However, one memorial above all the rest deserved to be seen.  It moved me emotionally each and every time I visited — and always in a different way.  I must have touched the granite wall perhaps two dozen times.  Instead of becoming bored or indifferent to something I had laid eyes upon so many occasions before, each visit gave me a new perspective about our history, what personal sacrifice really means, and the value of life itself.

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Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Blog, Personal | 2 comments

Some Personal Advice — Never Try to Eat Chili While Driving

nolan-dalla-eats-chili

 

I’m one of those drivers you absolutely hate.

I yap on the cell phone while driving.

I text while driving.

I fiddle with the music on my iPod while driving.

I eat while driving — many times with a knife and fork (fortunately, the car has good alignment so I don’t need to have my hands on the wheel).

I used to shave while driving — that was before I quit shaving.

As for drinking while driving, let’s just not go there.  Don’t ask, don’t tell.

But one thing I most certainly will not never do again is eat a bowl of hot chili while driving.

En route from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe a few days ago, I stopped off in Bishop, CA  There was no way in hell I was going to waste 20 minutes sitting in the restaurant eating, when the more practical thing was to get the food “to go.”  I call this multi-tasking.

Well, you can see what happened from the photo above.  I won’t even show you what my shirt looked like, which now pretty much looks like an infant’s bib.  I dribbled chili all over myself like a two-year-old.  Fortunately, the chili wasn’t steaming hot or it might have burned the family jewels.

Which leads me to wonder — if I scorched my crotch eating hot chili, could I sue the restaurant for a million dollars like the bat-shit crazy hot coffee lady?

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