I have been jonsing for some time in the District of Columbia, for a while now. I can give a tour of the city (city meaning the areas that have memorials/museums) like no ones business. I’ve been to most of the museums and monuments but I have a few to cross off my list. I’m lucky to have grown up in the shadows of this city and throughout my childhood, I’ve had a fair amount of field trips to the area with school and camp. Since I’ve grown up, I’ve taken my own adventures around the city and I’m pretty good at monitoring newly opened ones so that I can go to them, too. It must be the history nerd in me. Today I’m going to focus on the National Mall and the places I haven’t been. I’ve been keeping this little personal list of sites I need to go to and places I’ve been so far.
I have tried to get over to the FDR memorial for a few years now but I’ve never had the right opportunity to go. It’s not exactly in the same location as the rest of the Mall.
And it’s a bigger area than you’d think. Then, my husband had to fly out of National Airport and I had to go pick him up, and guess what monuments are right over in that direction? Well, the FDR Memorial for one. In a nice little turn of events I realized from my map that the Roosevelt Memorial was right by the Jefferson and newly constructed Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (and the George Mason Memorial if you’re interested). I decided to make an afternoon picture taking adventure out of it. Walking from MLK to Jefferson was roughly a mile, and I figured since it was almost 100 degrees out, a nice leisurely walk of 2 miles would be just enough walk for me.
In an even greater stroke of luck, thanks to the 4th of July holiday, I had a half day worth of time to visit. No, I didn’t go on the 4th! That’s madness. I went on the afternoon of the 3rd, and it was EMPTY comparatively. You know DC is empty when you can find parking in less than a minute. That.Never.Happens. It was glorious.
So here’s a small review of the 4 memorials I went to and the walk itself!
As I previously mentioned I started at the newest Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The Dedication was done on October 16, 2011.
I love that from most places in DC, you can get a glimpse of the Washington Monument. It’s quite lovely to feel so surrounded by history. See it there, peeking out?
You can also get a glimpse of my ultimate goal/halfway point in my trek around the monuments
Back to the MLK Memorial though. One thing a lot of the monuments have, are famous quotes, or speeches engraved around the monument, and many of the ones I visited today had that feature. You can see on this side of the monument it says
OUT OF THE MOUNTAIN OF DESPAIR
A STONE OF HOPE
and on the other side, it reads
I WAS A DRUM MAJOR FOR JUSTICE ,
PEACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
Who doesn’t love a good marching band reference?
I have a few quotes in frames around my house and I like to interchange them when the mood strikes me. I have a feeling some of these will be making it into the collection. Some work better than others but they’re all important to remember. What’s pretty cool about the MLK memorial is that along the back of the monument, there’s a giant wall of quotes to walk along, bookended by two little waterfalls, which I wish I’d got a picture of. I did take pictures of some of my more favorite and memorable quotes on the wall, if that counts.
And of course a personal favorite
That man was nothing if not a motivator.
With that, I walked onto the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. It was the one I had been wanting to see for a long long time. It has a special importance to me. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is cool and all but the real reason I was excited about this memorial? It’s twofold. Their names are Eleanor and Fala.
You see, the FDR memorial is not just a memorial to him, but a memorial to his time in the Presidency. It’s the only monument that has a wife of a president, and the presidents dog! Come on, how could this not be my favorite monument? I was really in for a surprise though. This was so much more beautiful than many of the other monuments. It was so natural and inviting. It’s just a beautiful non-traditional monument and I loved it for that.
The whole monument is divided into his terms in office and each has it’s own special pieces. There’s a lot of nature around it, various waterfalls and lots of stone.
Not to mention, important quotes.
I still have more pictures from the other two monuments I visited but this post was getting long enough. I’ll bring this back next week for the second half of my DC adventure.