This is Lee’s post from one of his several solo D.C Trips – Trace
Part of my recent visits to DC was seeing the various memorials, which I really enjoy. I love the scale, and the architecture, and the accessibility of them. This is going to be mostly pictures, because while I love reading all the details, I’m not going to make you slog through all of that. If you are interested, read the Wikipedia articles for each of them, they’re really fascinating.
Obviously there’s the big ones, and I will certainly get to those, but I didn’t really realize that scattered more or less everywhere are lesser known memorials. Towards the end of our visit I got kind of bummed and felt I was missing a lot of stuff, but I realized that I could spend months there and still feel that way. So there will always be something new every time I go, and we will certainly be returning. I would say it’s one of my top five favorite places.
I kept forgetting to take pictures, for example, but all around the Department of Agriculture are gardens and plants. I could have spent an entire day just exploring that, and it’s autumn! Down Independence Ave in front of the Dept of Education is the beautiful Eisenhower Memorial, and while I got some pictures on a rainy day, it’s absolutely stunning at night, but I got no pictures this time. I guess I’ll have to go back, which I am totally fine with, because this is my new favorite memorial.
Although it’s hard to see, the backdrop for the four acre memorial park is a welded steel “tapestry” supported by columns that 45 feet by 60 feet tall. It’s truly breathtaking in scope. The details of the design are all in the Wiki article, so here’s the pictures.
Here’s a photo from Architectural Digest that better shows the scale.
It’s just a beautiful park and memorial to a great man, and since it’s not on the mall and not one of the best known, I wanted to make sure it was included. Go see it.
By far the most visible of all of them, and my favorite, is the Washington monument. I love how you can see it from so far away, but it also plays hide and seek. I look around, and can’t find it, then I turn a corner, and BAM there it is. After over 130 years, it’s still impressive. It is open, after being closed for repairs from an earthquake, and renovations for a while. You have to get tickets in advance, of course, and I wasn’t able to do that, but that’s just a reason to go back again as soon as I can. And this was a great example of how being on a scooter allowed me to be able to zip around it without having to hoof it the entire time. I could have spent an entire day just walking around looking at it and photographing it from different angles.
My preferred shots was from the mall, downhill towards the monument. And then from the other side, up on the hill, in the distance as you look to the West you can see my favorite of them all, the Lincoln memorial. (The World War II memorial is between them, but that’s going to a separate post)
Northwest of the Lincoln Memorial is my favorite, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.
A short distance away, gazing across in tribute, are the Three Soldiers.
And a little farther down the path, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. I like these two statues more than the wall itself, because they are set off in the distance with benches so you can get away from the crowds’ I struggle with the wall because there are just so many names, it’s overwhelming. The sun beats down, and I want to read and think about every one of them, and I just can’t. It’s too much.
That’s all for this post, I will do the rest in the next one, but I also spent an evening risking life and limb riding a scooter while holding a tripod (I was too lazy to keep retracting and extending the legs), so I could do long exposure shots at night. Here’s the results of my laziness…
Next up, more monuments and memorials!
I think all of Lee’s shots are incredible, but his night shots are amazing. More posts coming if I can get him to focus! In all fairness to him it is hard to just pick a few from all the beautiful pictures. – Trace
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