A Walk Among the Monuments

Most of my regular readers saw this post last September. I wasn’t planning to re-post it but when I looked through the pictures, it seemed appropriate for Memorial Day. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend but please take a moment to remember those for whom this holiday was established.

No Facilities

imageI spent most of the past week in Washington, DC. I’ve been to Washington several times, but my trips have always been of the in-business-out variety, including prescription nightlife. This time, I had a couple of hours to do some sightseeing. My hotel was close to the National Mall so I headed in that direction. I entered the area, according to the official map, known as The Mall. At that point I had a choice to make. Head toward the Capitol or head to the monuments and memorials. That was an easy choice – Go visit the people who do nothing or walk among the people who did everything they could possibly do.

National Mall

The first monument I encountered was the tall one, the Washington Monument. It was the tallest building in the world when built but was rapidly shoved deep into 2nd place by the Eiffel Tower

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23 thoughts on “A Walk Among the Monuments

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  1. Glad that you repost it. It goes well with the Memorial Day theme. I just love the ‘Freedom is not Free’ picture. Probably, I mentioned the same comment earlier as well. I love visiting historical places and monuments, they tell you so much more about the valor, effort and thought-process gone into it. Many Indian sites here are not looked after the right way and many stupid people scribble their names and I love (the girls name) only to ruin the beauty of that heritage structure. Sometimes I feel, it would’ve had been better if India never got independence from the Brits in the first place. I know I sound like a pessimist, but I’m sure many others feel that way especially those who care for the country and not just be nationalists with a blind eye who talk highly of their country even when the country is eroding from within.

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    1. Our Memorial Day began after our Civil War. We keep adding monuments. It makes me wonder if we/the world ever learns anything. Some things are worth fighting for but some things are worth working for too.

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  2. Great photos, Dan. On a clear day (not too many of them) i can see the Washington Monument from the conference room window in my office building. From my own office the view is of the parking deck! The way they’re “taking back” office space, i’m lucky to have 4 walls and a window. :)

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      1. My previous office was (literally) a supply closet. I had just started with the Fed. They showed me to a scratched up desk, and a windowless room filled with supplies that someone ELSE used for their job. As a contractor all i had was a cubicle, so i was thrilled. Looking back, i probably should have seen it was an insult… Then they moved my group to a new building — where the others thought they were being insulted (by being in a building with mostly low grade staff. Yep — they’re like that). But silly me, i love my office and the location is great. Could wish for the view that the “insulted” ones have… but I still like my space. :D

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        1. I worked for 6 years in the 80s as a consultant and I was grateful for any place they put me. I’ve appreciated every cube and office ever since. I have a nice office now and I really appreciate it. Low grade staff? That’s a head-scratcher.

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  3. D.C is kind of a scary place anymore, but I’d risk going to see the Vietnam Memorial. A friend of mine died in that war when he was 17. Yes, not 18. His parents signed the papers to let him sign up.

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    1. The area around The National Mall seemed safe enough and there were certainly enough people around to make me feel comfortable exploring. I had walked several blocks from my hotel, and even that seemed just like any other city. Once inside the Mall, walking around the memorials is almost surreal. Thanks for the comment. Finding the name of a person you knew on that wall is a very special feeling.

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  4. Back in 1984 He-Man was working for an IT company that had a 6 week sabbatical every 4 years. We decided to make an “Ultimate Road trip” with our then 2 1/2 yr old son when his turn to have his Sabbatical arrived. We toured the USA in our pick-up truck camping most the way. We stayed with family in the south, and east, and a few hotels to break up the setting up, tearing down of camp every two to three days while on the trip. One of our “must not miss” spots was Washington DC. We only had one day there, so we crammed as in as possible.
    The Washington Monument was nearly covered in scaffolding that year, so we looked took pictures, and moved on. We didn’t go up either. As the daughter of a retired Marine I’ve always had a soft spot, and deep respect for our Military, so of course I found the Monuments very moving.

    It was a fantastic and unforgettable day. We’ve both hoped to get back there one day.

    Thank you for sharing and reminding of me our trip there on this day of Remembrance.

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    1. Thanks. That sounds like an amazing trip. I’ve never actually been in DC with much time for sightseeing. I’ve been there numerous times on business, but it’s the kind of business that includes meetings during the day and dinners in the evening. By the time I get back to my hotel, I could be anywhere. The meeting in September had a break mid-day and I decided to take advantage of it. There’s so much to see in that city that you can cram a lot into a few hours.

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  5. Perfect choice for memorial day Dan. That plaque saying that ‘Freedom isn’t free’ is really quite something — it sums up so much in just a few words. I thought it was quite poignant, and it’s a nice way to remind ourself how dearly some people bought the freedom we now enjoy.

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    1. Thanks! There is so much to see and do in Washington that I wouldn’t know where to start. The Mall is such an incredible place, I wish I had had the entire day to walk around there.


  6. I have been to the edge of the National Mall, Dan. I have seen some of the monuments and cemetery from afar. I am more likely now, to be more interested and curious, to be honest. The Smithsonian Museum and the larger presidential memorials my family checked out more closely. Great photos and srticle, Dan.

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    1. Thanks! I had walked by the Mall on a number of visits to DC Robin. I am so glad that I had the time to visit these memorials on that trip. The next time I go to DC on business, I need to schedule a vacation day for some real sightseeing.


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