Tuesday, 26 April 2016

DC for the Day ... Monuments & Memorials.

My next part of my Washington adventure was to explore the monuments, parks and memorials within the national parks.
 I started at the Washington memorial, which was built as a tribute to America's first president, it wasn't completed until the 21st president was in office. Plans to build the monument were put in place before Washington was commander-in-chief of the American Army, he scrapped the plans as federal government funds were tight and didn't want to use public money for the project. After Washington died the plans were resurrected to build the monument in his honour. 100 years after the original plan President Grant authorized federal funds to start the build, the construction was built across 2 phases and was halted for 2 decades (this explains the variances of quarry stone as they couldn’t be matched) The monument stands 555 feet tall and contains 50 flights of stairs. 
The monument has survived an earthquake, hostage situation and is seen as a pivotal part of the Washington landscape.
 Two memorials flank either end of the Lincoln memorial reflective pool, the one that sits between the Washington and Lincoln is the National WW11 memorial. 
This is a beautiful tribute and I spent a long time walking around reading the dedications and plaques around the pool area. It honours the 16 million that served in the armed forces of the US and the 400,000 that lost their life fighting within the conflict. 
The memorial sits on 17th street between Independence and Constitution Avenues. It contains 56 columns, symbolizing unity among the 48 states, 7 territories and the district of Columbia.
The Freedom wall is littered with 4,048 gold stars, each star paying tribute to 100 lives lost. Either side of the  pool are 2 large structures which highlight the victories on the Atlantic and Pacific seas. This is a stunning memorial, one of my favourite points are the 24 bronze relief panels depicting life home and away during the years of conflict. As with all WW2 memorials, it was difficult not to become emotional as thoughts led to me grandparents and the stories that they told from their experiences during this time. This is a fitting tribute to a war that spanned years, countries and religions.
Continuing down the park alongside the reflecting pool, its hard not to walk this space without thinking of all the political and military movies and TV shows that have been filmed around this area. Favourites include; Forrest Gump, The American President,  A Few Good Men, St Elmo's Fire, White House Down, State of Play, The West Wing, and Scandal.
The Lincoln memorial is colossal, an icon sitting facing the Washington memorial President Lincoln was the 16th president of the US. At the time that the memorial was dedicated the US was in the middle of Civil war between the North and South, the dedication ceremony unified a number of people and it is this that has resonated with many ever since; There are few that don't associate this memorial with the legendary civil rights speech of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
I was lucky when visiting all the sites that the areas were relatively tourist free, a party of collage kids were having much fun with selfies on the steps!
Either side of the Lincoln memorial sit 2 gardens and memorial sites dedicated to the Korean and Vietnam wars, both are beautiful in there own way and are lovely tributes to those fallen.
The Vietnam memorial wall has 72 panels on 2 walls which detail 58,307 names lost within the conflict. The 3 serviceman statue is a bronze tribute representing European, Hispanic and African American soldiers.
The Korean memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the three-year period of the Korean War. The war was one of the most hard fought in our history. During its relatively short duration from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, 36,574 Americans died in hostile actions in the Korean War theatre. Of these, 8,200 are listed as missing in action or lost or buried at sea. In addition 103,284 were wounded during the conflict. As with the WW11 memorial they are humbling and an opportunity for quite reflection to honour the lives lost.
Its hard to come to Washington and avoid any military or political sights, the whole of the centre of Dc is steeped in political and military history and non more so than Arlington cemetery. This was my next stop after Lincoln Memorial and a brisk walk across the Potomac river to one of the most recognised and iconic cemeteries in the world.
The space is peaceful, incredibly humbling and steeped with history; from the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, to the graveside of J.F.Kennedy the cemetery is full of white headstones lined up in military precision.
After a good couple hours of quiet contemplation along the Mall and within the cemetery it was time to jump on a bus and head to Georgetown for a cupcake and coffee and some sightseeing in this area.... pop back later this week when I share more adventures from my day in DC.


1 comment:

Ms Leanne Fraser said...

Your pictures are beautiful - I've wanted to visit Washington for ages x

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

DC for the Day ... Monuments & Memorials.

My next part of my Washington adventure was to explore the monuments, parks and memorials within the national parks.
 I started at the Washington memorial, which was built as a tribute to America's first president, it wasn't completed until the 21st president was in office. Plans to build the monument were put in place before Washington was commander-in-chief of the American Army, he scrapped the plans as federal government funds were tight and didn't want to use public money for the project. After Washington died the plans were resurrected to build the monument in his honour. 100 years after the original plan President Grant authorized federal funds to start the build, the construction was built across 2 phases and was halted for 2 decades (this explains the variances of quarry stone as they couldn’t be matched) The monument stands 555 feet tall and contains 50 flights of stairs. 
The monument has survived an earthquake, hostage situation and is seen as a pivotal part of the Washington landscape.
 Two memorials flank either end of the Lincoln memorial reflective pool, the one that sits between the Washington and Lincoln is the National WW11 memorial. 
This is a beautiful tribute and I spent a long time walking around reading the dedications and plaques around the pool area. It honours the 16 million that served in the armed forces of the US and the 400,000 that lost their life fighting within the conflict. 
The memorial sits on 17th street between Independence and Constitution Avenues. It contains 56 columns, symbolizing unity among the 48 states, 7 territories and the district of Columbia.
The Freedom wall is littered with 4,048 gold stars, each star paying tribute to 100 lives lost. Either side of the  pool are 2 large structures which highlight the victories on the Atlantic and Pacific seas. This is a stunning memorial, one of my favourite points are the 24 bronze relief panels depicting life home and away during the years of conflict. As with all WW2 memorials, it was difficult not to become emotional as thoughts led to me grandparents and the stories that they told from their experiences during this time. This is a fitting tribute to a war that spanned years, countries and religions.
Continuing down the park alongside the reflecting pool, its hard not to walk this space without thinking of all the political and military movies and TV shows that have been filmed around this area. Favourites include; Forrest Gump, The American President,  A Few Good Men, St Elmo's Fire, White House Down, State of Play, The West Wing, and Scandal.
The Lincoln memorial is colossal, an icon sitting facing the Washington memorial President Lincoln was the 16th president of the US. At the time that the memorial was dedicated the US was in the middle of Civil war between the North and South, the dedication ceremony unified a number of people and it is this that has resonated with many ever since; There are few that don't associate this memorial with the legendary civil rights speech of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
I was lucky when visiting all the sites that the areas were relatively tourist free, a party of collage kids were having much fun with selfies on the steps!
Either side of the Lincoln memorial sit 2 gardens and memorial sites dedicated to the Korean and Vietnam wars, both are beautiful in there own way and are lovely tributes to those fallen.
The Vietnam memorial wall has 72 panels on 2 walls which detail 58,307 names lost within the conflict. The 3 serviceman statue is a bronze tribute representing European, Hispanic and African American soldiers.
The Korean memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the three-year period of the Korean War. The war was one of the most hard fought in our history. During its relatively short duration from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, 36,574 Americans died in hostile actions in the Korean War theatre. Of these, 8,200 are listed as missing in action or lost or buried at sea. In addition 103,284 were wounded during the conflict. As with the WW11 memorial they are humbling and an opportunity for quite reflection to honour the lives lost.
Its hard to come to Washington and avoid any military or political sights, the whole of the centre of Dc is steeped in political and military history and non more so than Arlington cemetery. This was my next stop after Lincoln Memorial and a brisk walk across the Potomac river to one of the most recognised and iconic cemeteries in the world.
The space is peaceful, incredibly humbling and steeped with history; from the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, to the graveside of J.F.Kennedy the cemetery is full of white headstones lined up in military precision.
After a good couple hours of quiet contemplation along the Mall and within the cemetery it was time to jump on a bus and head to Georgetown for a cupcake and coffee and some sightseeing in this area.... pop back later this week when I share more adventures from my day in DC.


1 comment:

Ms Leanne Fraser said...

Your pictures are beautiful - I've wanted to visit Washington for ages x