Monday, October 29, 2012

Travel Tales: Short Trip to D.C.

In October we decided to take a short weekend trip to Washington, D.C. We had not been there in many years and we thought the beautiful fall weekend was the best time to visit. The trip along Interstate 79 in Pennsylvania and West Virginia was breathtakingly beautiful. I had to pull over several times because I could not pass up the opportunity to get pictures of the fall leaves at their peak.

We drove to the Silver Springs Metro station and took the subway to the Smithsonian station at the Mall. This station was conveniently located in the middle of the museums and we spent the morning visiting the exhibits at several of the buildings.

Our first new attraction was the National World War II Memorial which is located at one end of the Reflecting Pool. I love the use of water in memorials since I feel it adds a sense of life and movement. This memorial uses fountains, waterfalls, pillars and arches in a beautiful tribute to the soldiers and civilians involved in World War II. The Freedom Wall displays 4,048 gold stars. Each star represents one hundred soldiers who died in the war.

We visited the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the other monuments in that area. Next we walked over to the Tidal Basin to see two other attractions that had been built since our last trip. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was an impressive tribute which included famous quotes from Dr. King. Visitors enter the area through a split in a mountain. This design comes from one of Dr. King's quotes, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." The stone of hope is the monument of Dr. King.

The last new monument for us was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, which is located next to the King Memorial. This was an amazing place to visit. The accomplishments of Roosevelt in an extremely stressful period of American history are memorialized here. Once again water is a major component of this attraction and the waterfalls grow larger as one moves through each of the four outdoor rooms. This large memorial covers 7.5 acres, but we had no trouble walking around the entire area even though we had been walking all day. This memorial makes extensive use of granite which was also used in the Civilian Conservation Corps projects that I have seen in the Ohio area.

(Photos taken on October 21, 2012)

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