Anyway, he swam six miles in the James River, which, according to the little plaque, has never been repeated. That's impressive.
That took a total of 30 minutes, so as we were leaving the museum we decided maybe we would get ice-cream (I had already eaten lunch). Neither of us really knew what was around, I knew of the River City Diner, and that was it, so we started to walk towards the Canal Walk because I remember seeing some shops down there last time I went. We stopped though because we saw the Holocaust Museum (I have been there before too, and admitted it this time). I guess this was kind of a macabre date.
I'm all for learning about history, but the Richmond Holocaust Museum has to be one of the scariest places that I have ever been...yet I keep going back. I think because it's free, therefore the people I am with always want to go. I jumped a few times and acted like a real pansy a few others. No matter how many times I am there that place will do it to me. It's eerie and I don't expect sunshine and butterflies, but I also don't like feeling like I'm in some scary movie. I did finally go through the tunnel. See, there is a tunnel in one of the rooms to demonstrate what it was like for one Jewish family that lived several weeks underground. I cheated and used my cell phone to light the way. Once to the main part of the tunnel there is a display set up with red light and a about a dozen plastic mannequins and a German audio recording ready to go once you get to a certain point...that point happened to be as I first noticed the dozen or so plastics looking at me. I don't think I screamed, but I can't say for certain that I didn't.
I am hesitant to say that it was fun, rather, it is always a sobering experience. Especially as you get to the liberation section and you read the stories of those who survived and those who found the survivors. I held my ground though, and didn't cry, but I mentally made it a point to finally finish reading Izzy's Fire, a book I bought at the gift shop there about...5 years ago. (P.S. I have been crying while I read that book...in the privacy of my own home of course). World War II just seemed to display the worst in people. The Americans were dropping A-bombs, the Germans were committing genocide, the Japanese were doing death marches and who knows what else because to be quite honest I don't know all that much. I know about the big things that they teach you in school and they make movies about. You look at all that was wrong and then you read about the soldiers coming in and pretty much saving those people and you think of all the soldiers that died just to get the armies there and how some of those prisoners were barely hanging on, to their lives, to their faith. Many of them having already lost all that they had. I read about soldiers, nurses, resistance fighters, one woman who left her daughter at a Catholic convent while she helped with the underground, helping Jewish families escape Nazi controlled countries. The best and the worst displayed in relatively a few short years. I wonder how our history will sum us up.
I didn't mean to get deep there, I was planning to go on and on about how when I got home I slept the rest of the day and go into a silly diatribe about how I must have contracted African Sleeping Sickness. African Sleeping Sickness (I was going to reduce that to just letters but thought better of it, and quickly) Diatribe averted. Rather, I would like to thank anyone who has ever devoted their time to serving our country, who knows how many lives they have affected with their service whether directly or indirectly. Thanks for all that you do!