I'm rather disappointed to report, that it was a bit of a cluster. Staff did not go about designated areas spectators could not be (clear walkways, etc) until 5 minutes before it started, despite it being open for over 3 hours before the ceremony, which resulted in a large amount of people being pushed into the walkways unable to get to an alternate screening area before the ceremony started. Several members of security were a mouthy bunch of overweight police officers who give the dedicated, hard working ones bad names. It seemed half the crowd was only there for the celebrity draw of the Vice President...as he spoke, people climbed all over the flower beds to catch a glimpse. Once he spoke, there was a bit of an exodus...before the roll call, remembrances and missing man formation.
Security and staff was completely useless at keeping the walkways clear, which impeded the WWII vets (over 100) for having easy access to their areas due to the crowding...and when the National Anthem was played and taps sounded, half the people in attendance were more concerned with taking photos with their smart phones than paying their respects. Honestly, it was an embarrassing display in front of the numerous foreign representatives there to pay their respects. I was also embarrassed by some of the behavior of the service members there as part of the details...walking while texting and drinking with sunglasses in dress uniforms, etc. I don't think the narrator even read the script prior to the start of ceremonies, it sounded rough with a lot of pauses and mistakes. The few reenactors running around hadn't bothered to shave, and seemed to be there looking for attention more than honoring the vets.
Leaving...well...there were no lines, and essentially it was a cattle herding center at each bus station.
However, it wasn't all bad. Obviously half of the memorial was closed off due to the VIPs, so I couldn't actually enjoy the memorial. However, there was quite a good series of aircraft flying over, some very good readings and tributes, and during the roll call all WWII vets were presented a cased medallion. The vets certainly seemed to appreciate that America still remembers, I just didn't appreciate how poorly citizens demonstrated their remembrance.
Quite honestly, it seemed like the event was poorly planned and executed...not at all fitting the 100+ veterans it was meant to honor.
Edited by Brig, 06 June 2019 - 06:39 PM.