The Mother of All Monuments for the Father of Our Country

5 02 2010

Since I’ve looked at Lincoln and Jefferson, I might as well round out the week with the final of the Major Mall Memorials.  (Never fear, I won’t continue this series next week with Roosevelt, WWII, Korea, Vietnam….)

But really, I would be remiss if I omitted the Washington Monument.

(Everything else is called a memorial, but Washington’s is a monument.  There must be some significance.  Hmm…)

  1. I actually can’t remember my first visit.  It probably was the summer during high school when I lived in Washington and worked as an intern in my congressman’s office.  My internship was not as exciting as Monica L’s, but (perhaps because I wasn’t up to so much hanky panky) I had lots of time for sightseeing so I surely would have ventured to the top.
  2. I do remember taking the kids shortly after we moved to the Washington area twelve years ago.  We rode the elevator up and took the stairs down.  (Better than taking the stairs up and riding the elevator down.)  In the stairwell you can see lots of carved stones presented by cities, states, and foreign countries.  The stairwell at my house should be so entertaining.
  3. That stairwell may be closed to the public since the monument was closed for extensive repairs from 1998 to 2000.  Rather than just cover the structure with ugly scaffolding, workers turned it into a work of art, covering the framework with mesh material that didn’t hide the monument, but added a new dimension to it.  As scaffolding goes, it was really quite lovely.
  4. One of my kids participated in a class debate about the proposed location of the World War II Memorial.  He found a source which claimed that if it was built where it was in fact built, the ground would be weakened and the Washington Monument would fall over.  Wouldn’t that be something?
  5. Lastly, if you’re going to the Fourth of July fireworks on the mall, getting close to the monument is a good thing.  The best thing is to find someone you know who scoped out a spot early and squeeze in with them at the last minute when the crowd swells.  The view is great.

And that’s all I know about that.



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