Snow Falling on Sakura

Yesterday was the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, described as the country’s greatest celebration of spring.

But today, the District woke up to snow falling on sakura.

Cherry Blossoms - March 27, 2011
Cherry blossoms framing the Jefferson Memorial. (Photo: Robert Yule)

The cognitive dissonance of it all inspired a haiku from me this morning:

 Snow gently falling

Mingling with white petals

Winter meeting spring

Okay, so I’m no Basho, but I felt this rare snowfall in late March was worthy of commemoration.

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A Farewell to Arms in the District

Frank Buckles
Frank Buckles was only 16 when he bluffed his way into the U.S. Army and World War I.

Yesterday, World War I officially became history for Americans when the last doughboy was buried across the river at Arlington National Cemetery.

Frank Woodruff Buckles died at his home in West Virginia on February 28 at the age of 110 – one of the last three known living veterans of the Great War (the two remaining are a man in Australia and a woman in Britain).

Hundreds of Washingtonians and visitors paid tribute to him by visiting the National World War I Memorial on the Mall, shuffling through the Capitol Rotunda to see his flag-draped coffin, and attending a solemn ceremony at Arlington as he was laid to rest.

Okay, so only one out of three of those things actually happened.

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Nurse-In at the Hirshhorn

Dozens of women exposed their breasts in the halls of the Smithsonian’s contemporary art museum, the Hirshhorn, this past Saturday.

It wasn’t some sort of avant-garde artistic statement – it was a modern-day civic protest against the idea that breastfeeding in public could be considered indecent.

Nurse-In at the Hirshhorn
A mother breastfeeds her baby during a quiet moment in front of an Edward Hopper painting.

It all started on January 30th, when a mom from Rockville, Maryland was nursing her infant daughter while sitting on a bench in the Hirshhorn. She was told by a museum security guard that she couldn’t breastfeed in public, and was instructed to move to the ladies’ room.

After not finding a place to sit in the restroom, and being told to stop breastfeeding by yet another security guard, she and her family ultimately gave up on their day at the museum and went home.

But like any good Washingtonian, she decided to go on the Internet and find out her rights.

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