Friday, June 15, 2012

WWII Monument and The Mall

I had a long walk to go from the Vietnam Memorial to the Metro station and my 'new knees' were beginning to complain, so I took it very slowly and enjoyed the park setting as I went.

It is amazing to see such rolling lawn on some of the most valuable real estate in the world. The trend seems to be to fill it up with memorials to this war or that great figure but I hope we citizens of this great  self-idealizing nation have the good sense to not fill it up entirely with more statues and marble monoliths. The catharsis this green space provides amongst all these emotion-inducing
 monuments is worth every blade of grass--and even a few weeds. 

As I slowly hobbled along,  this little fellow walked with me.  I am sure he was looking for a hand-out.

And the day was warm enough that I envied these guys.

Another picture of the Washington Monument.  If you are not sure what an 'obelisk' is then here is a great example.  The earthquake that hit the area last year has left large cracks in the stone walls of the monument so it is roped off to the public.  I could not see any signs of workers and no word on when the National Parks plans to reopen it.  Judging by the state of some of our national parks that I have camped in (especially the bathrooms) I think it may take a very long time.  Money is definitely an object here.

And yet another war memorial!  This is new and very spectacular--the World War II Memorial.
(The opposite gate says 'PACIFIC'.)

Have you noticed how much we love Greek and Roman Goddesses?

This monument is centered around water and you have to notice the size of the people standing around to get some perspective on the size of this fountain.

Each of these columns represents a state so I found Arizona's plus a nice young man to take my picture here. The reason I look so fat is obviously because of the camera.  I really must find a better camera.  

The view of the Washington Monument from here was the best I found anywhere.  

But the view of the White House is not bad either. The Obamas were otherwise engaged so we didn't have lunch--maybe next visit.

This whole section is called the "Federal Triangle"--along the Mall from the White House to the Capitol.  The buildings along this 6 blocks are The National Aquarium, Environmental Protection Agency, IRS, Justice Department, National Archives and the Federal Trade Commission.
The city stretches out beyond the Mall and I caught only glimpses of it through the archways of the triangle.  I had the feeling that there was lots more out there to see but I was running out of time and energy.

I kept wondering what was in those turrets and towers. 

And in the midst of all these Greek and gothic structures I found him!


He was only 21 years old and a soldier in the Continental Army when he volunteered to go behind enemy  lines in New York City to spy on the British troop movement.  He was captured and just before he was hanged he spoke the words that we all remember him by....
"I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."
How sad that it was such a young life.

Aren't you curious as to who has a desk next to that upper window in the tower?  If there is no elevator then it's probably the lowliest go-fer.
 And the last building before hurrying to Metro is one of those triangle buildings also know as, of all things, a Flat Iron Building. The name comes from the shape of clothes irons at the turn of the last century.  The building is dwarfed by all the larger and grander buildings around but it has a shiny gold dome to make up for its size.

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