Our leaders in Washington have a long-standing habit of paying tangible tribute to presidents, soldiers, scientists, civic leaders, war, peace, and just about anything else they think might have figured significantly in the history of our country. As a consequence Washington DC is chock full of monuments and memorials and statues, which makes it a photographer's paradise. FYI, a MONUMENT is a structure or statue built to honor some special event or notable person, while a MEMORIAL is a structure or statue built to preserve the memory of a person or persons who perished in some significant event (or who just died, period). The difference seems pretty thin to me. Seems like the Washington Monument could just as easily be the Washington Memorial. Just sayin. This is a long tour that includes the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Word War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, District of Columbia War Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Arts of War and Arts of Peace Sculptures, and the Second Division Memorial.
First stop is the Washington Monument. I don't recall ever being inside the Monument; seems like it's always closed for repairs whenever I'm there. However, I do have lots of photos from the outside. It's easy to tell the difference between film and digital in these photos.
Lincoln Memorial - The doorway below and to the left of the stairs leads to an anteroom with lots of Lincoln quotes on the walls
World War II Memorial
I took this series of photos not too long after Veterans Day in 2017. There were still a lot of wreaths at the military memorials.
World War II Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Memorial was dedicated on July 27, 1995 and is in the form of a triangle that intersects a circle. There is a shallow pool called "The Pool of Remberance" in the middle of the circle, and unfortunately I don't have a singe photo of it. I actually didn't do a very good job of photographing this Memorial. Maybe next time. One of the walls of the triangle is a Mural Wall that has 2500 photographic images sandblasted into polished black granite. This is a really freaky Memorial because of the platoon of 19 ghostly white stainless steel soldiers in the triangle, many of whom have kind of a "thousand yard stare".
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial consists of 3 parts; the Memorial Wall, a sculpture called "The Three Servicemen" (aka "The Three Soldiers"), and the Vietnam Women's Memorial. The most famous of the three is the Memorial Wall which consists of two long, polished black granite walls set at 125° to each other and etched with the names of service men and women who died in the Vietnam war. It was designed by Maya Lin and completed in 1982.
District of Columbia War Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Contruction of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was started in 1939 and finished in 1943. The bronze statue of Jefferson by Rudulph Evans was installed in 1947. The statue is 19 feet high and weighs 5 tons. The basement of the memorial contains portraits and busts of Jefferson as well as several Jefferson quotes.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
I have to say this is my favorite Memorial in DC. The Memorial is immense, covering 7.5 acres along the Tidal Basin. It depicts events from the 12 years of FDR's presidency in four outdoor rooms, one for each of the President's 4 terms in office. The Memorial, designed by Lawrence Halprin, is an artistic combination of water, stone, and sculpture.
Water feature suggesting the violence of World War II
Third Term Room
Martin Luther King Memorial
The Martin Luther King Memorial, located on the Tidal Basin next to the FDR Memorial, opened on August 22, 2011. When entering the Memorial, visitors pass through two huge granite pieces known as the "Mountain of Despair" onto the 30 foot statue of Martin Luther King called the "Stone of Hope". This symbolism is taken from the line, "Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope" in King's "I have a dream" speech.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
I never got tickets to get into the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Since I only have a few photos of the exterior, I though it might be nice to place this section after the Martin Luther King Memorial, even though it's not a monument.
Miscellaneous Monuments and Memorials
The Arts of War and Arts of Peace are bronze statue groups that were installed in 1951. The Arts of War were sculpted by Leo Friedlander and consist of two pieces, "Valor" and "Sacrifice" at the entrance to the Arlington Memorial Bridge. The Arts of Peace were sculpted by James Earle Fraser and also consist ot two pieces, "Music and Harvest" and "Aspiration and Literature". These are located at the entrance to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway.
U.S. Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Ave
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