Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Veterans Day in Washington: Catching up on our Journey.

Fred at the National Mall
I have been so involved in our travels that I haven't taken the time to write anything down for a while. Sorry for abandoning you in Philadelphia. Although as places go it is a great place to spend a few weeks if a little cold right now.
Leaving Philly Fred and I drove to DC where we stayed in the FamCamp at Fort Meade, Maryland. From there it was a short drive to a Metro stop where we could purchase tickets and
ride the train into the city. where we picked up the subway to the National Mall.  Fred had visited the monuments on a prior visit to Washington but I had never seen them up close.

We were fortunate to be able to spend a beautiful, sunny Veterans Day in DC..  Our first stop was the Lincoln Memorial. what an impressive sight. It lived up to my every expectation. It was so inspiring to walk up that huge staircase pass by the stately marble columns and to read the words that are so explanatory of our history.

Rant Warning: I enjoy visiting monuments and memorials and always have my camera with me. I try to be respectful of the place itself and of other visitors by not letting my desire to put my memories on film ruin the experience for anyone else. Could someone please tell me what is up with people and their selfie sticks posing and posturing for the camera using a revered National Monument as a background for their own egoS?  Can't tell you how many times I bit my tongue that day.

 We left the Lincoln Memorial and walked down the stairs to the Reflecting Pool where we were surrounded by veterans of all ages. Many were Vietnam era veterans in jackets with insignia denoting their units and engagements. I was so happy to see them enjoying one another's company and receiving the thank yous that they didn't hear when they came home in the 70's.
Vietnam Memorial

We walked past the Vietnam Memorial and the Wall.where visitors were making rubbings of the names engraved there.

We walked among the figures of the Korean War Memorial and marveled at the faces of the life sized statues.

Korean War Memorial

We walked through granite portals into the WW2 Memorial in time to view a ceremony remembering those who served in that war.and honoring several survivors who were present.

There were Veterans everywhere, noticing one another, thanking one another and sharing their experiences. It was a wonderful experience for Fred to be among them and to enjoy that fellowship.

Washington Monument across the Tidal Basin
We stopped for a quick lunch at a food cart and then headed over to the Tidal Basin, walking around the cherry trees and admiring the Mallards in the water.  We enjoyed the Japanese pagoda inspired statues among them as we passed by and ducked under the twisted branches of the trees hanging over the walkway.
WW2 Memorial

The impressive and expressive monument to the dream of Martin Luther King.
The Martin Luther King Monument was the first of the great structures that we came upon. It is an impressive and uniquely modern colossus that looks as though it was blasted out of a massive stone wall. The 30 foot tall statue of Dr. King states directly across the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson Memorial and is adjacent to the FDR memorial. Words from his I have a dream speech."Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." are inscribed on the statue and provided inspiration to its creator.

The FDR Monument was a short walk farther along the basin. It is perhaps my favorite of all that we saw because it is not only a monument to the man but it honors the people that elected him and whose lives were improved under his administration. The 7 acre site is divided into 4 areas separated by granite walls. There are bronze sculptures throughout the outdoor areas. Two are of President Roosevelt the first depicting FDR in his wheeled chair sitting alone and uncovered by the massive cloak that usually hid the chair.  The second, a much larger statue, pictures him with his dog. 
Eleanor Roosevelt as Ambassador of Peace.

There is also a statue of Eleanor with the emblem of the United Nations, and statues of men in a bread line during the great depression. Roosevelt's words are carved in the stone walls surrounding the site. My favorite are his views on having seen the horrible aspects of war.

FDR's I Hate War Speech.

 From the FDR we continued around the water until we reached the Jefferson Memorial and then the Washington Monument.  I loved how we had views of the Washington Monument from everywhere we went that day.

The Jefferson memorial as viewed across the Tidal Basin from MLK Monument.

It was a lot of walking  but What a day!  Fitbit clocked us each at over 15,000 steps. We left the city tired and inspired and thankful.

You can find more photos of our Washington Travels in our Flickr Album.


  1. Great photos, Bonnie! Our favorites were FDR and WWII, although we loved the quotes at the MLK monument. Looks like your weather at the time was perfect. :)

  2. It was a beautiful day Jim. I have to agree with your assessment. The WWII was amazing in its scope and design.