D-DAY Wedding on the Mall

Chris and Vanessa

Running isn't everything, but it sure is everything I want it to be.  And on this special day -- D-Day for one, the 65th Anniversary of Allied troops storming the beaches of Normandy, taking the world by surprise, and winning the hearts and minds of people like me.  

Today, I had my share of personally meeting and thanking the wonderful, warm-hearted war veterans at the World War II Memorial, people like Welsey Niccolls who single-handedly changed all the radio frequencies prior to the invasion of Okinawa and Heroes like SSgt Michael Bartolomeo who won a Bronze Star for saving the lives of two of his wounded comrades.

You would think that I had my share that day -- the day that I should have been home studying for perhaps the biggest exam of my life, only 48 hours away --  the day that I had just leisurely laced up my Brooks Beasts to go on a mindless jog, or so I thought, until the socialite in me ran into folks I truly wanted to meet and know.

I had run by it over a zillion times before during the last three years -- more than I ever wanted to count or remember.  Sometimes I noticed the travertine marble columns, distinctive and grand.

Sometimes I noticed kids running in circles chasing virtual squirrels or big balloon balls, free as the spirit like battle-worn kites soaring tenaciously around the obelisk of the Washington Monument.

Sometimes I noticed the homeless man, sound asleep, or looking listless and tired, a brown bag in one bitter hand.

Sometimes I would run right by it, wouldn't even care to notice it at all.  As the first war memorial to be erected in West Potomac Park (now there are four), and now DC's only War Memorial (commemorating the citizens of DC) who served in World War I, the 47 foot tall, circular structure had unfortunately fallen into such disrepair in recent days that it had become sadly, unnoticed and under-appreciated.

That's why I was so shocked to see what I stumbled across that day -- a real life wedding during an amazingly, incredible unbelievable day -- one I'll for sure never to forget.

The Bride, Vanessa Graf and her entourage walking after being exiting her limo on Independence Avenue at West Potomac Park.

Father and Daughter walk towards the the historic DC World War I Memorial

The guests on their feet as the Father and Bride walk towards the altar.

Linda Graf and Sandra Wallace read scripture and poetry

Chris Wallace and Vanessa Graf with the Rev. Brian Hughes conducting the ceremony.
Also Maid of Honor, Victoria Graf.

Bride shedding a tear during an emotional moment.

Bride and Groom taking wedding vows

This was the most beautiful of weddings in the most unexpected of places.  The wedding being public and wide open turned a lot of curiosity seeker heads up and down Independence Avenue and those passing to and fro from the Lincoln to World War II.  And it turned out to be a picture-perfect wedding in a majestic, historic venue on a most delightful day for two beautiful people to become one. (Too bad, I was in my shorts and Tees.)

Happy Times...Happy Trails


  1. amykramer@mac.comJune 11, 2009 at 2:01 AM

    What a beautiful place to have a wedding! I like your blog! Hope you are feeling good! Amy

  2. Amy,
    Thanks, I'm doing well. Thx for taking care of my hand.


  3. Thank you for writing such wonderful things about the wedding! We were all surprised to hear about your blog and that you happened upon us that day. The running blog concept is creative and interesting, and we are honored that we ended up on your site in such a nice context. It turned out to be a perfect day all around and we were so pleased that the weather decided to cooperate after the preceding days of rain. Good luck in your future blog ventures!
    The Maid of Honor, Mother of the Bride, and Father of the Bride

  4. Dear Mr and Mrs Graf and Victoria,

    Thank you for your wonderful remarks. It makes me feel great to know that you enjoyed reading my blog and like the concept of running and blogging.

    Best of luck to you and your beautiful family.


  5. We really enjoyed your blog about our son and his new wife and the beautiful wedding. Being from Arkansas we do not realize how big D C really is. We enjoyed our visit and hope to make many more trips to D C.
    Mother, Father, Sister and Nephew of the Groom

  6. Mr and Mrs Wallace and family, Thank you very much for your kind words. Attending and capturing the happy moments of your son's wedding was a very special occasion for me. You know, I was supposed to be studying for the LSAT, but I'm so glad I stayed for this special time instead.