"United States Navy Memorial" United States Navy Memorial by matcrazy1

The Lone Sailor

United States Navy Memorial is located in downtown Washington, DC. So, I am a little bit surprised to find it as a seperate location in VT-base. Anyway, it gives me more place to share my adventures from the US capital :-).

I had a great pleasure to see the memorial and this statue of the Lone Sailor together with my wife and the two VT-friends:
- Kathy from Dallas, Texas (Kodi01)
- Chris from Atlanta, Georgia (balfor)

The memorial and my military service

The memorial reminded me my own military experiences. I have a lot of warm feelings and sympathy for people in military uniforms unless they are forced to serve in an army which is out of control of the nation, like it worked in my case.

Well, my two months in Soviet-style "Polish" army in late 1980' was a waste of time. I've learned that nothing worked well in that strange army especially minds of higher rank officers :-). I am sure it has changed since Poland regained independance and became NATO member in 1999.

The memorial and my foundest memory

The Warsaw Pact army taught us mainly how to march, mostly unsuccesfully as we didn't like to march again and again. The soldier's low morale was caused by the simple fact that no-one treated this Warsaw Pact army as the one of own country. Maybe that's why our officers had orders to teach us marching instead of shooting.

About 120 soldiers in my army unit including me were forced to take an oath of allegiance to "socialist Poland" and swear to defend it against "imperialistic rulers" or something those lines. But during the very solemn ceremony, in front of many guests including one general, when the officer had read the words of the oath about "standing strongly to defend peace in brotherly ally with the Soviet Army" no-one repeated his words. This silence followed by happy laugh of our families is my foundest memory.

The next day the political officers of our unit ordered each of us to sign the words of oath. At first we refused although they asked us very much. Finally one of them proposed and asked us to sign it one for another. And we did so. Soon later the text of oath was totally changed.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Location in downtown Washington, DC
  • In a nutshell:Go to see it!
  • Last visit to United States Navy Memorial: Oct 2004
  • Intro Updated Mar 5, 2006
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Reviews (2)

Comments (12)

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Surprising that this is in the VT database. I was expecting to read about the US Naval Academy at first. Interesting how you related your own time in the military

  • DennyP's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    HI matt...thanks for sharing these tips and pics..certainly is a city that you can spend a lot of time..Denny

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2007 at 3:36 PM

    Think I missed this sailor fellow. Maybe next time.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2007 at 6:02 AM

    Thanks for sharing info. & pictures about this Navy Memorial. My husband & I got married when he was a sailor -- no wonder we both love being at sea!

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2007 at 7:32 AM

    Yes, it is strange that this memorial has a separate location in VT.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2007 at 9:48 PM

    I wonder if that huge lonely sailor could jump on the Segway! Ot better if the Segway would be strong enough to handle him!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2007 at 8:23 AM

    Ha ha ha, don't know if I lliked your story or the segway better. Think I would like to try that means of transport. Never saw one before. Just so you know...my husband looked like that sailor in his uniform...many years ago.

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2006 at 3:06 PM

    How nice of you to give the Lone Sailor a little company.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2006 at 5:38 PM

    Matt, this looks like an interesting place! I also really liked your military service information and had to laugh at the ingenuity of the officers to overcome your reluctance to sign the oath!! Never thought of that method before.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2006 at 4:58 AM

    Matt, this was my favorite memorial in DC, probably because my father was in the Navy in WWII in the Pacific, and I spent so much time here. He's in the archives. Thanks for letting people know about this great place.


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