Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day Walk of Thankful Recognition at the USPTO

One of the greatest motivators for our living so close to Philip's work has been the increased opportunity for family time by minimizing the commute.  When we lived in Japan we recognized that there is a very real cost benefit calculation between commute time and family time that is absolutely worth considering.  Upon returning to the US in 2010 we chose to live on campus at UNC in the Baity Hill family dorms.  It was absolutely the best choice for us.  Philip spent three years with a commute that took him on foot through the Botanical Gardens annex.  I was surrounded by women who were in exactly the same stage of life - trying to balance studies, budgets and the challenge of raising small children with spouses who are in school and often working long hours studying and doing research.  Being able to take my fussy baby on long walks around campus, riding the RU with a toddler who loved to sing "The Wheels on The Bus," meeting Daddy for lunch, and watching my child learn how to climb stairs by practicing on the never-ending staircase from the Dean Dome to the Business School are memories of our time in Chapel Hill.

Front row at the Concert. Eloise is eyeing the Color Guard.
Similarly, we have begun to create similar memories here in Alexandria, all made possible by the fact that we do live right here in the Carlyle area.  One of my sources for USPTO events and neighborhood happenings has been Red Brick Town.

Isabel enjoying the Patenteers.
On May 21st the USPTO Military Association held a wonderful event to commemorate Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day.

Eloise and Phil watching the Color Guard begin the walk to Alexandria National Cemetery from the Patent Office campus.

We met Philip at the Patent Office around 11:30 where the Patenteers (the USPTO chorus) had a performance.  We were all handed a schedule of events, which included the concert, a walk, a wonderful invocation and memorial ceremony.

We often walk past the National Cemetery on our walks and runs - this was our first time visiting. The gate house is in process of being restored.

On the back side of our program was a specific soldier's name and burial site at the Alexandria National Cemetery, so that we could pay our respects after the end of the ceremony.

This was just the second year that the USPTO Military Association has hosted the event, but it was wonderful.  I feel so grateful that the girls and I were able to participate with Phil.

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