I suspect I won't be the only garden blogger sharing photos from our Nations Capitol on this Independence Day, the timing of our recent Garden Bloggers Fling seems to almost require it...
Andrew and I spent the Monday morning after the Fling wrapped up wandering the mall and taking it all in. Then he visited a couple more museums and I visited and revisited several Smithsonian gardens and the U.S. Botanic Garden. I was standing in front of the Botanic Garden's Conservatory when I took this photo of the U.S. Capitol Building.
We'll return there at the end of the post, but let's have a look around first.
The newest museum on the mall, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, has a unique look that differentiates it from all the other white marble and granite structures.
I think it is a remarkable design.
I must admit I'm not a particularly patriotic person, especially given the current state of our government. However, upon catching a glimpse of the Washington Monument on the first day of the Fling (our bus drove by en-route to Hillwood, the estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post) I got goosebumps. It's such an iconic sight.
Did you know the color of the brick changes part way up the structure? The difference marks where construction stopped in 1856, as the flow of private donations to fund the monument dried up. Construction resumed in 1876 when Congress authorized public funds to complete the work. The different quarries utilized produced different colored stone.
This is as close as we got to the White House, had a different President been in residence during our visit we may have bothered to cross the street.
The Second Division Memorial commemorates those who died while serving in the 2nd Infantry Division of the U. S. Army. The flaming sword symbolizes the defense of Paris from the German advance.
For some reason I was completely unaware of the World War II Memorial's existence.
It is rather new, having just opened in 2004, but really how could I not have known about it?
The memorial itself is huge and once you enter it surrounds you on all sides.
From the design section on the memorial's Wiki page: "The memorial consists of 56 granite pillars, each 17 feet tall, arranged in a semicircle around a plaza with two 43-foot (triumphal arches on opposite sides... Each pillar is inscribed with the name of one of the 48 U.S. states of 1945, as well as the District of Columbia, the Alaska Territory and Territory of Hawaii, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The northern arch is inscribed with "Atlantic"; the southern one, "Pacific." The plaza is 337 ft 10 in long and 240 feet 2 inches wide, is sunk 6 feet below grade, and contains a pool that is 246 feet 9 inches by 147 feet 8 inches."
That pool was turned off and construction crews were working while we were there. It certainly would have made for better photos to have the pool working, but the power of the place was not at all diminished by the lack of water.
My mom was born on Pearl Harbor Day.
So you don't have to strain to read: "We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George Marshall
Women as people, a concept still not fully embraced by some.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was as powerful as you expect it to be.
However it felt more personal — for the family members who have loved ones names on the wall — than public.
The Lincoln Memorial building is much larger than I expected.
And grand, very grand. There are 36 columns, each one represents a state in the U.S. at the time of President Lincoln’s death.
Funny I didn't notice the camera until seeing it in my photo.
And back out...
The just beyond the reflecting pool is the WWII Memorial, backed by the Washington Monument and in the distance the Capitol Building.
By this time we were getting quite famished and the Jefferson Memorial was only observed from a distance, no offense meant to President Jefferson.
Refreshed from lunch at the Mitsitam Cafe in The National Museum of the American Indian (and the accompanying a/c, have I mentioned the ridiculous humidity in D.C.? How do people live with that?) I set off to get a closer look at the Capitol Building. These column lights with their intricate carvings captured my attention for quite some time.
But I eventually strolled closer to the Capitol. Where I discovered not just anyone can walk up those steps (note the police fencing at the bottom of the steps), such is life in 2017. ..
Be careful with those fireworks people, and if you can withstand the temptation great, leave it to the professionals. Lord knows we can make due with fewer explosions in my, and your, neighborhood.
Weather Diary, July 3: Hi 79, Low 56/ Precip 0
All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.