Thursday, May 8, 2014

Washington, D.C. ~ The Monuments

Definitely one of my favorite things about D.C. are all of our national monuments which signify so many important events in our nation's history.  Regardless of how you feel about war, you cannot deny the powerful emotional feelings of standing before a monument that honors the lives of those who fought and died for their country or standing before a monument that honors the life of an individual leader who helped make their country what it is today.  Without many of these men and women, we probably wouldn't even be a country today.  We would likely still be under the rule of another world power.  Regardless of how you feel about war, it is hard to deny that some things are worth fighting for like family, freedom from tyrannous governments who manipulate and murder innocent people for power, and freedom to live by those inalienable rights that we Americans hold so dear.  No matter how you feel about America, it is hard to deny that our country is one of the few and proud that was established with the very noble intentions of insuring that all people have an equal right to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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The Washington Monument has such a prominent position in this city and is visible from nearly everywhere.  You can truly see how big it is by how small all of the surrounding flags look below it.  Construction around the monument did not allow us to get closer or to walk inside of it so that is still on my bucket list.  The monument was built in the style of the Egyptian obelisk and is the world's tallest obelisk shaped building.  Unlike the ancient obelisks of Egypt, it is not made from a solid piece of stone but from many bricks.  It is 555 feet tall. 

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Of course, we had to take a picture in front of the monument.  As I have explained earlier, we walked all over D.C. (over 10 miles) on this day in our "Easter" clothes.  It was a long day but well worth it! 
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(Thank goodness for Daddy's jacket to sit on!)

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This picture looks so misleading.  I was zooming in for this shot from the grassy space in front of the Washington Monument looking at the Lincoln Memorial.  That reflecting pool is a lot longer than you think! 

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The Atlantic side of the new World War II Monument. 

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And the Pacific side. 
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There is a large fountain at the center of the memorial. 

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Some of the memorable historical statements are engraved on the walls of the memorial. 

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Every state has a column honoring its soldiers.  Eddie and the boys stood with our state in honor and memory of their grandfather, a WWII veteran. 

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I just loved this view of the Washington Monument and flag through the WWII Monument. 

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A special tribute to the women who helped the war effort. 

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Those infamous words of President Roosevelt live on. 

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As I already mentioned, we didn't make it all the way to the Jefferson Memorial since we detoured for pictures with the Cherry Blossoms and then had to go eat lunch.  
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Speaking of lunch, I would be quite remiss if I did not mention this absolute fabulous place to dine.  We tried to eat here on an earlier day but needed reservations because it is always busy.  We had reservations for 2:00 on this day (it was either that or 9:00 at night.  Ha!).  Seriously though, it is so good.  They do specialize in "true" food meaning healthier and more natural food and drink choices inspired by those old fresh from the farm made from scratch classics.  They have some really great drink options.  Just check it out!  It is on Pennsylvania Avenue a few blocks from the White House. 

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After a lot of walking and a late lunch, we attempted to make it to the National Archives before closing.  I really wanted Evan to see our nation's most treasured documents.  Unfortunately, we arrived just a little before 5:00, and the guard wouldn't let us in.  Sigh.  

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Thank goodness for the stroller on this day since we did so much walking.  We were heading back toward the reflecting pool and Lincoln Memorial here.  I had to stop and rest halfway.  

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My cute little nerdy son reading a book on the long walk.   Can you believe he reads real books without pictures and loves it?  Where did my baby go? 

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We also did not have time to see this museum.  Sigh again. 

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After the long walk back to the Lincoln Memorial area, Brody was restless and begging to see the water.  He loved watching these ducks in the water.  I did not let him out of the stroller for fear he would go in after them.  

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Here they were laughing about the "duck butts" as the ducks dove head first under the water.  Yes, Brody was repeating that! 

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Brody was laughing hysterically. 

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A sweet tribute to the women of the Vietnam War caring for the wounded soldiers.  I love that someone had put those yellow roses there. 

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Such a lovely tribute from someone.  

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This has to be the most touching memorial on the Mall.  It is so simple, but you just get this reverent feeling walking next to this black granite wall with thousands of names inscribed of the soldiers who died fighting in this war.  No matter how you feel about that war, these brave soldiers deserve to be honored.  They paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country as they were called to serve.  My dad served with these men.  I remember watching him finding names on this wall when we went as a family.  If you have a loved one on this wall, you can take pencil and paper and rub the inscription to keep. 

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I loved that lots of school children on field trips had brought some lovely art to leave here.  

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So many names.  The wall just seems to go on forever. 

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So touching to watch people finding loved one's names on the wall. 

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Evan standing at the wall for his Papa. 

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The Three Soldiers statue complements the Vietnam War Memorial as they stand watching over the wall of names of their fallen comrades. 

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And we finally made it all the way to the Lincoln Memorial.  Thank goodness there is an elevator for strollers because it is much higher than it looks! 

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At the top of the Memorial looking at the Washington Monument.  Can you tell why they call it a reflecting pool? 

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My favorite President! 

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I often wonder how different our country would be today if he had lived.  He had so much to teach us about unity and forgiveness. 

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Such a memorable (although exhausting) day. 

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My handsome boys. 

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We tried for a picture on top of the Lincoln Memorial with this awesome view, but Brody was not cooperating. 

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The Korean War Memorial is another touching tribute. 

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The faces of these statutes are so lifelike. 

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This one is supposed to look like a squad of soldiers on patrol walking through the rugged terrain of Korea.   There are 38 soldiers representing the 38th Parallel. 

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The wall contains real images of the soldiers and events of the war.

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Before we began our long trek back to the metro station, the boys pose for one last picture looking so handsome and stylish.   Brody was wearing his new skinny jeans which looked adorable on him, but I can see that he may not be a skinny jean wearing man because he has his daddy's thighs.  Of course, skinny jeans on Evan just look like regular fit. They are about as different as night and day! 

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Brody pointing at something. 

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I just love the way the trees and memorials reflect in the pool.  I can see why the pool was part of the design of the National Mall.  

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And we finally made it onto the metro train for a short ride back to the hotel.  We were exhausted, and my feet were not loving me! 
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  1. OK, I am exhausted just reading about your day.

    Did you tear up all day? I can not go to any type of memorial about wars or government leaders without crying. I got a little teary just looking at your pictures.

    That restaurant sounds really yummy. I'm hoping that more and more places like that start opening everywhere.

    And you are right, I did not get an email with your last comment. I've gotten used to just checking my comments in blogger everyday though so I don't miss anything. I'm sure it is just a glitch with blogger itself and that one day it will just, poof, fix itself. At least I hope so.

    1. Oh yes, I think I told you on FB that I definitely got teary trying to read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on the wall of the Memorial to Evan. I think you posted something about Spencer learning about him recently. Oh yes, I wish we had more restaurants like that. Then, I wouldn't feel so guilty about eating out so much...well except the expensive part. Haha!

  2. I remember thinking the National Mall was amazing with all the monuments and incredibly big. It looks so much smaller than it is. I'm sorry you didn't get to see the historical documents and that there was so much walking. You sure covered a lot of ground this day! And I LOVE the picture of you and the boys with the Washington Monument in the background.

    1. I think we travel similarly and try to pack everything in no matter how long we are there. Haha! I wish I could travel more leisurely and just take all the time I wanted in different places. Sigh.

  3. Wow! What an awesome day! I've seen so many pictures of these monuments through the years, I love being able to see them through your eyes. I love that you walked 10 miles in your Easter clothes. That's dedication!!! We have a sit and stand double stroller too. They are wonderful for all that walking!!!
    When I read your blog, I often forget that your Evan is just now 7. He seems so smart and mature for his age. I hope some day our Evans get the chance to hang out. I think they'd be great friends.

  4. Oh I love DC and it's sooooo awesome you guys went! I haven't been since I was between my sophomore/junior year in high school. So much fun to see these monuments again!


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