All’s Well that Ends in a Munitions Dump

To be sure we weren’t absolutely crazy thinking Liz could take a two hour commute to American University in Washington D.C., we took a trip down there yesterday. 2 hours from our home in Pennsylvania exactly. When we arrived at the Performing Arts building, the place in which she will spend most of her time, we were confronted by police and men in army fatigues. No, we weren’t getting busted, but we were told not to enter the building. When we asked why, the policeman proceeded in telling us only to “move on.” Disturbed by the cryptic brevity of the officer’s reply, we talked to a professor in another building. When he told us the real reason for the closing, I was sure he was kidding.

He wasn’t.

It seems that American University was used during WWI as a kind of munitions dumping ground. For years, poisonous by-products, such as mustard gas and other chemical warfare agents, were buried there, undiscovered for many years. On the Metro towards the National Gallery of Art, we later read about the disturbing excavation in greater detail from the Washington Post.