Visited The Monuments Of The National Mall

"I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."
Abraham Lincoln

Last night, we took the overnight
Capitol Limited train from Chicago to Washington DC. It was almost 20 hours long, but we made it to our nation's capital. After quickly checking into our hotel, we walked out to the National Mall and walked around the west side of it to see all the monuments in the area.

We started with the
First Division Monument and Second Division Memorial. These two monuments are to commemorate those that died while serving in the 1st and 2nd Infantry Divisions of the United States Army.

Next, we walked out to the
Washington Monument, which was visible from very far away. I knew it was tall, but I didn't realize it was that huge. Unfortunately, because of the earthquake they had earlier this year, it was closed due to some damage, but we got to admire it from the outside.

Heading west, we visited the
World War II Memorial just as the sun was setting. It was a gorgeous display with one side of the memorial signifying the war in Pacific (left) and the other representing the war in Europe (right).

We had hoped to walk along the famous Reflecting Pool, but it's currently undergoing a restoration for a little while.

It was getting dark, but we walked all along the west side of the National Mall. In a small space along the path, the
Vietnam Women's Memorial statue was brightly lit. Dedicated to the women that served during the Vietnam War, the statue has been proudly displayed since 1993.

Eventually, we got to the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This one was a special one for me. My great aunt, Frieda Mock, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for a 1994 film about the designer of this memorial, Maya Lin. Because she is of Asian descent, there was quite a backlash when it was announced that she was the designer of the project. The truth is that she's not Vietnamese. In fact, she's an American born Chinese woman.

Not far from here is the
Lincoln Memorial. Because it always looks so cool in movies and televisions shows, I thought there was no way it could live up to my expectations, but I was wrong. The memorial is just as impressive in person if not more. When we saw it at night, it was majestic and beautiful.

We walked along the south side of the Mall where the next spot was the
Korean War Veterans Memorial.
IMG_0775-1 (dragged)

Across the street and a bit east of here is the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which was just added in August. The wall was lined with some of his great quotes.

The last one we checked out tonight was the
District of Columbia War Memorial, which is commemorates the citizens of DC that served in World War I.

Overall, this was a very productive evening. After our overnight train ride, we saw some of our nation's greatest landmarks. Because of the sheer size and scale of these monuments, it was easy to feel patriotic when viewing them. I have been very proud to call this country my home, and now, in the nation's capital for the first time in my life, I am even more proud. The names of the men and women that line these memorials honor not just those that helped create and protect our freedoms but the freedoms themselves that we are privileged to have because we live here. If you have never been here before, I totally and wholeheartedly recommend it, but please bring good walking shoes.

Related Items:
The National Mall: Rethinking Washington's Monumental Core
Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape
Maya Lin - A Strong Clear Vision
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