Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial, with its 36 Doric columns looks much like a Greek temple.  It is the dominant feature at one end of the Mall and faces the Washington Monument at the other end.

The 36 columns represent each of the 36 states of the Union at the time of Abraham Lincoln's death.

And when you stand at the bottom of the steps you can just begin to see the large figure seated in the shadows at the top.

And as you climb slowly (I climbed slower than most) the imposing figure begins to emerge.  He looks solemn and pensive as I imagine he was during his time as president.  After all, the fate of the Union lay completely on his shoulders.

The seated marble statue is 19' high, but if he were standing he would be 28' tall.

Two of his greatest speeches, The Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural speech are inscribed on the walls,  as well as this quote...

"Allow all the governed an equal voice in the government, 
and that, and only that, is self government."
Over the years the monument has become the rallying place for those groups who feel disenfranchised or voiceless within our government. Inside the monument are pictures from the many, many demonstrations, protests and gatherings that have materialized here. 
I am very sorry to say that I missed the spot where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his very moving, 'I have a Dream', speech.  The exact spot on the steps is engraved with his name and date and when I go back there someday I will definitely find it.

Some of Abe Lincoln's more memorable quotes...
  "Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth"
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"
"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

and one of my favorites...

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."


  1. A few more of his that I like:
    "It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

    “Tell me the brand of Whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”
    – Abraham Lincoln, in response to news about General Grant’s drinking, November 26, 1863

  2. I love the quote about trying slavery! That's a new one to me. If all our legislators had to live in poverty for a substantial amount of time I wonder what they would change?

  3. Ron--those are great comments.
    Linda--Or if our politicians had to be the first to enlist in the military I bet we would have a lot fewer wars...Toni