"I am from the memories I love and can only trust my memory to hold them",
Rachel Wikman, 11-years old.
So ends the poem my 11-year old daughter wrote yesterday, and how true that is also for many of the experiences that you have at the National Mall in Washington DC.
I stood with my family on the spot where a famous civil rights leader once said "I have a dream" in front of the entire world. I looked out over the National Mall, the reflecting pool, the Washington Monument with the Majestic statue of Abraham Lincoln, and the Majestic and beautiful white memorial building, behind me, and I loved that moment. I read the Gettysburg Address and Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, and I loved that moment. I thought about what a great country America is, despite its faults, and how happy I am that my children will grow up here, and I loved that moment. Yes, I loved that moment, and I can only trust my memory to hold it.
Earlier this summer we traveled to Washington DC because our daughter was selected by her teachers to go to Washington DC to participate in the "People's to People" world leadership forum. This is an intense program where the kids learn about US history, politics and diplomacy. There were representatives from all over the United States at this forum. We decided to come with her (as most parents with kids at this age at the forum did) and we decided to see as many monuments and museums as we could.
About the Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is located at the West end of the National Mall in Washington DC. It is a majestic white marble building with 36 44-feet columns (36 was the number of states at the time of Lincoln's death). It is built in the form of a Greek Doric temple and resembles the Parthenon in Acropolis (in my opinion), except for the fact that the Lincoln Memorial is in perfect condition and shiny white. The Lincoln Memorial is 190 by 119 feet, and 99 feet tall. Inside the Memorial there is a large 19 feet tall statue of a sitting Abraham Lincoln and the walls display the Gettysburg Address and Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. On the east side of the memorial are steps which might be a slight challenge for some people to climb. The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in 1922 (to Abraham Lincoln).
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial you have a good view of the long reflecting pool, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, and the Majestic Washington Monument. You can also see the Capitol building in the distance as well as some of the Smithsonian museums. The view is spectacular and probably one of the most interesting views in the world. I can add that the Lincoln Memorial is handicap accessible. If you want to thank a veteran you are likely to find one around here.
Experiencing the Lincoln Memorial
The National Mall feature a lot of majestic and impressive buildings and memorials, which are sure to touch your heart, whether you are American or not. The reason I can speak for the "not American" as well, is because I am not a citizen yet, and when I saw the National Mall for the first time, I was just an exchange student on my way back to Sweden, and I was touched by what I saw. My Swedish co-traveler "Håkan", who was only visiting the U.S. for a few weeks, was also quite impressed and touched by what he saw.
In my opinion the most impressive memorial at the National Mall is the Lincoln Memorial. The building stands like a shiny white temple on top of a little hill overlooking the entire National Mall. The statue of Abraham Lincoln is impressive and very well done and it is lit at night. The building and the statue inspires a feeling of awe at the same time as the beautiful and inspiring speeches on the walls touches the soul.
Let me end with the final words of the Second Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln, "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan-to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.".
If you have not seen the Lincoln Memorial you are missing out. I highly recommend a visit to the Lincoln Memorial whenever you get a chance.
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Best Suited For: Families
Best Time to Travel Here: Jun - Aug