DC Day One: Monuments and Memorials

DC Day One: Monuments and Memorials


Photos (Clockwise): Me and Eleanor at the Roosevelt Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, inside the Jefferson Memorial, a view of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial, outside of the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II memorial.  Pictures by Trent!

The first day of our DC trip was devoted to the memorials.  It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm but with a breeze that kept us from collapsing.  I am glad I have been taking regular walks this summer because we spent most of the day moving.  We started with the Washington Monument which is so big that it seems unreal when you get up close to it, as if it was actually made out of cardboard and you could knock it over with a kick.


I had a travel guide in my purse that I took out to read fun facts whenever we reached a new memorial, my favorite guide was from Frommers:


It was easy to read, with interesting notes and a lot of good advice.  Like, when to go to the Portrait Gallery (more on that later) and great suggestions for walking tours.  And while it wasn’t the smallest guide to carry around, it fit easily in my small purse.  It also had two maps, a big one to pull out when you really didn’t know where you were going and a more discrete one to double check the train routes without looking like a total tourist.

Some moments from the monuments:

  • The Korean War memorial was very beautifully done.  The Vietnam War memorial is very moving as well, so much so that I didn’t feel right taking pictures.  But go check out the Korean War memorial. The statues of the solders walking through landscaping that looks like waves works really well.
  • The Lincoln and Jefferson memorials are just huge. I felt small standing inside of them, and maybe that was the point.  Fun Fact alert: The story goes that FDR was such a fan of Jefferson that when the memorial was built, he had all the trees cut down between it and the White House so FDR could see it every morning.  If you stand in front of Jefferson’s statue, you can see the White House still.  And that was as close as I got to the White House during our trip.
  • Water is a key element to FDR’s memorial because of his connection to water throughout his life.  From his creation of Warm Springs to the Tennessee Valley Authority , FDR believed in the healing power of water.  So it is fitting that his memorial is filled with flowing water, pools, and mini waterfalls.
  • The Tidal Basin is a great place to take a break, buy a hot dog or an Italian ice and watch people try to move around in paddle boats!



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