Over the next few months, they’re putting scaffolding around the Washington Monument so they can begin repairs from the 2011 earthquake.
I fully plan to track its progress because this isn’t something you get to see every day.
Two days until Inauguration! Because I am not insane, I have no plans to attend this year. It was an amazing (and cold) experience in 2009, but I swore I wouldn’t go to another one until a (not batshit crazy) woman was elected president. (Hillary 2016?!) Because of this oath to myself, I decided to wander around for an hour or so today to experience some of the exitement, without all the security and crowds.
After more than 11 years living in the DC area, it’s not often I can say I’ve photographed a place for the first time. I went on a short photowalk along the Mount Vernon Trail this morning and snapped some photos of the Potomac River bridges and the Lincoln Memorial.
It’s quite a lovely view.
Check out my photoblog: kimberlyfaye’s photos.
Occupy DC protesters at McPherson Square erected a “Tent of Dreams” over the General McPherson statue today. U.S. Park Police are supposed to be enforcing a "no camping" rule at the two Occupy DC camps today, but when I left around 1:00 pm, not much had been done.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. This memorial is America’s 395th national park. The official address of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, 1964 Independence Avenue, SW, commemorates the year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.
The memorial opened to the public on August 22, 2001. The official grand opening ceremony was scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2001, the 48th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech given by Dr. King from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, but was postponed because of Hurricane Irene. It was dedicated on October 16, 2011, the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March.
Though this is not the first memorial to an African American in Washington, DC, Dr. King is the first African American honored with a memorial on the National Mall and only the fourth non-President to be memorialized in such a way.
The memorial is situated on a four-acre site between the Tidal Basin and Independence Avenue, SW. The centerpiece of the memorial is based on a line from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech: “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” A 30 foot-high relief of Dr. King, named the “Stone of Hope,” stands past two other pieces of granite that symbolize the “mountain of despair.”
A 450 foot-long inscription wall includes excerpts from many of King’s sermons and speeches. The earliest excerpt is from the time of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. The latest from his final sermon, delivered in 1968 at Washington DC’s National Cathedral, just four days before his assassination.
The memorial also includes 24 niches along the upper walkway to commemorate the contribution of the many individuals who gave their lives to the civil rights movement in different ways – from Medgar Evans to the four children murdered in the 16h Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham. A number of the niches are left open and incomplete, allowing them to be dedicated as new individuals are honored.
Another inscription on the “Stone of Hope” reads “I Was a Drum Major for Justice, Peace, and Righteousness.” This paraphrased version of King’s original quote: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” has led to quite a bit of outrage and controversy.
The United States Air Force Memorial honors the service of the personnel of the United States Air Force and its predecessors. The Memorial is located in Arlington, Virginia, on the grounds of Fort Myer near The Pentagon, at the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Joyce Street. It was the last project of American architect James Ingo Freed (known for the design of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) with the firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners for the United States Air Force Memorial Foundation.
The District of Columbia War Memorial was built in 1931 to commemorate District of Columbia residents who served in World War I. The memorial stands in a grove of trees along Independence Avenue in West Potomac Park. It is currently undergoing badly needed rehabilitation.
The Memorial was designed by Washington architect Frederick H. Brooke, with associate architects Horace W. Peaslee and Nathan C. Wyeth. The DC War Memorial is in the form of a 47 foot tall circular, domed, peristyle Doric temple. A list of names of 26,000 Washingtonians who served in the Great War is preserved in the cornerstone. Inscribed on the base are the names of the 499 District of Columbia citizens who lost their lives in the war, together with medallions representing the branches of the armed forces. Twelve 22 foot tall fluted Doric marble columns support the entablature and dome.
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is spread over 7.5 acres along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The Memorial traces FDR’s 12 years as President through a series of four outdoor rooms, one for each term. The rooms are surrounded by walls of red South Dakota granite and ornamental plantings. Famous FDR quotes are carved into the granite and water fountains and quiet pools are present throughout. Each room conveys in its own way the spirit of this great man.
Two sculptures are housed in the entryway of the Memorial: one of the Presidential Seal and one of FDR in a wheelchair. The first room introduces FDR’s early presidency and includes a relief sculpture depiction of his first inauguration. The second room contains several sculptural groups: an urban breadline, a rural couple and a man listening to a fireside chat . Bronze panels in the room show New Deal social and economic programs. A grassy divider between the second and third rooms marks the historical point at which Roosevelt and the nation confronted World War II.
In the third room, Roosevelt appears as a seated figure; his beloved dog Fala sits nearby. There was some controversy about whether or not to show FDR in a wheelchair as his reliance on a wheelchair was not publicized during his life. The sculptor added casters to the back of the chair. They are only visible behind the statue. The fourth room honors FDR’s life and legacy. A sculptural relief of Roosevelt’s funeral cortege hangs in an alcove. A statue of Eleanor Roosevelt commemorates her role as First Lady, as well as her work as a United Nations delegate and champion for human rights. This memorial is the only one that currently depicts the First Lady. A timeline of important dates and events from FDR’s extraordinary life can be found in the plaza.
There are several water features throughout the Memorial. They are said to depict the following:
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial was dedicated on May 2, 1997 by President Bill Clinton. It was designed by Lawrence Halprin and includes sculptures and works by Leonard Baskin, Neil Estern, Robert Graham, Thomas Hardy and George Segal.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a national memorial located in Washington DC, honors members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, and those service members who were unaccounted for (Missing In Action) during the War. The memorial consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The memorial was inspired by Jan Scruggs, an infantryman who served in Vietnam, and designed by Maya Lin.
The names inscribed on the Memorial Wall are of servicemen (and women) who were either Killed in Action or Missing in Action at the time the wall was built in 1982. The names are listed in chronological order, starting at the apex on panel 1E and moving day by day to the end of the eastern wall at panel 70E. The names start again at panel 70W at the end of the western wall which completes and return to the apex at panel 1W. The wall contained 58,191 names when it was completed in 1993. As of June 2010, there were 58,267 names, including 8 women. Approximately 1,200 of these are MIA or POW; whose names are denoted with a cross. The names of confirmed dead are denoted with a diamond.
The National World War II Memorial is a National Memorial to all Americans that served in the armed forces and on the home front during World War II. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool, between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It opened to the public on April 29, 2004, and was dedicated by President George W. Bush on May 29, 2004, two days before Memorial Day.
A nationwide design competition drew more than 600 submissions. Friedrich St. Florian’s initial design was selected in 1997. Over the next four years, St. Florian’s design was altered during the review and approval process required of proposed memorials in Washington, D.C. The final design consists of 56 pillars, each 17 feet tall, arranged in a semicircle around a plaza with two 43-foot 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 Freedom Wall, on the west side of the memorial, holds a field of stars. The wall has 4,048 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans who died in the war. 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. The memorial includes two engravings typical of the Kilroy graffiti: “Kilroy was here.”
The Marine Corps War Memorial also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, is a military memorial statue located near the Arlington National Cemetery and the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington, Virginia, United States. The memorial is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) who have died in the defense of their country since 1775. The design of the massive sculpture by Felix de Weldon was based on the iconic photo of the raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.
The memorial features the following Marines and Sailor who raised the second flag over Iwo Jima: Sgt.Michael Strank, USMC; Cpl. Harlon Block, USMC; PFC. Franklin Sousley, USMC; PFC. Rene Gagnon, USMC; PFC. Ira Hayes, USMC; and PM2 John Bradley, Hospital Corpsman USN.
There are twelve hands in the memorial corresponding to the six figures depicted. A persistent rumor has attributed the existence of a thirteenth hand to the sculptor’s wish to symbolize either all the other Marines who made the flag raising possible, or the hand of God. When informed of the rumor, the original sculptor, Felix de Weldon, exclaimed, “Thirteen hands. Who needed 13 hands? Twelve were enough.”
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is in the form of a triangle intersecting a circle. Walls made of more than 100 tons of polished Academy Black granite from California surround the triangle. The memorial wall is etched with over 2,000 images of veterans, including Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans, who were part of the land, sea, and air forces in Korea between 1950 and 1953. Within the walled triangle are 19 larger than life-size stainless steel statues designed by Frank Gaylord. The statues, which rage between 7’3″ and 7’6″, each weigh nearly 1,000 pounds. The figures represent a squad on patrol and represent several branches of the U.S. military. There are 14 Army, 3 Marine Corps, one Navy Corpsman and one Air Force Forward Air Observer. Each is shrouded in wind-blown ponchos and situated on strips of granite and juniper bushes which represent the terrain of Korea. When the scene is viewed in the reflective wall, there appear to be 38 soldiers, representing the 38th parallel.
A United Nationals Wall, a low wall listing the 22 United Nations members that contributed troops or medial supplies to the war effort, sits north of the statues.
A Pool of Remembrance is also part of the memorial. Inscriptions listing the numbers killed, wounded, missing in action and held as prisoners of war are found on the black granite wall surrounding the pool. Next to the numbers of American soldiers are those of the United Nations troops in the same categories. A nearby plaque reads “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.” Three Rose of Sharon hibiscus bushes, South Korea’s national flower, can be found on the south side of the memorial.
Another granite wall bears the powerful message “Freedom Is Not Free.”
The Washington Monument was built between 1848 and 1884 as a tribute to George Washington’s military leadership from 1775-1783 during the American Revolution. Its construction took place in two major phases, 1848-56, and 1876-84–a lack of funds, political turmoil, and uncertainty about the survival of the American Union caused the intermittent hiatus. Plans for a national monument began as early as 1783 when Congress proposed that an equestrian statue of George Washington be erected. Although the Monument was authorized by Congress, little action was taken, even after Major Peter Charles L’Enfant selected its site in his 1791 Federal City plan. Washington’s 1799 death rekindled public aspiration for an appropriate tribute to him, and John Marshall proposed that a special sepulcher be erected for the General within the Capitol itself. Lack of funds postponed construction, but Marshall persevered, and in 1833, he, James Madison, and others formed the Washington National Monument Society. By 1836, the society advertised for competitive architectural designs. The winning architect was Robert Mills, whose design called for a neoclassical plan which provided for a nearly-flat-topped obelisk surrounded by a circular colonnade on which would stand a statue of Washington in a chariot. Inside the colonnade, statues of thirty prominent Revolutionary War heroes would be displayed.
In an elaborate Fourth of July ceremony in 1848, the cornerstone was laid. Lack of funds and the illegal election which placed the Washington National Monument Society in the hands of the Know-Nothings, a political party, caused delay. Although the Know-Nothings returned all records to the original society in 1858, the latter could accomplish little without funding. The outbreak of Civil War of 1861 exacerbated the society’s difficulties with fund-raising efforts. When Lt.Col.Thomas L.Casey, Mills’ successor, resumed work on the project in 1876, he heavily altered the original design for the monument so that it resembled an unadorned Egyptian obelisk with a pointed pyramidion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the War Department was charged with completing the construction, and the monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885, and officially opened to the public on October 9, 1888.
Weighing 81,120 tons, the Washington Monument stands 555′ 5-1/8″ tall. The walls of the monument range in thickness from 15′ at the base to 18” at the upper shaft. They are composed primarily of white marble blocks from Maryland with a few from Massachusetts, underlain by Maryland blue gneiss and Maine granite. A slight color change is perceptible at the 150′ level near where construction slowed in 1854. Inserted into the interior walls are 193 memorial stones presented by individuals, societies, cities, States, and nations of the world. Attached to in independent iron framework, flights of 896 steps surround an elevator which takes visitors to the observation level, where they can gaze over the city from the monument’s pyramidion windows.
In 1996, the Washington Monument Restoration Project was kicked off with Target Stores joining the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation to help restore this national treasure. Guaranteeing $1 million, Target served as the lead sponsor working with the foundation to raise awareness and an additional $4 million in donations from corporate partners. The restoration included constructing scaffolding for the entire 555-foot, 5 1/8-inch monument; sealing 500 feet of exterior and interior stone cracks; pointing 64,000 linear feet of exterior joints; cleaning 59,000 square feet of interior wall surface; sealing eight observation windows and eight aircraft warning lights; repairing 1,000 square feet of chipped and patched stone; pointing 3,900 linear feet of interior joints; and preserving and restoring 1932 interior commemorative stones. The project was completed in 2000.
The Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, DC, is a United States Presidential memorial built to honor 16th President Abraham Lincoln. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he helped preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. Lincoln closely supervised the victorious war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including Ulysses S. Grant.
Lincoln is seated in an architectural throne chair with fasces posts, which in turn is placed on a 10-foot marble pedestal. His coat is unbuttoned; his hands are at rest on the arms of the chair; his facial expression seems to be one of vibrant contemplation. The memorial is surrounded by a colonnade of 38 fluted Doric columns. The top frieze contains the names of the forty-eight states which existed at the time of the dedication. The thirty-six states listed above the colonnade are those which existed at the time of Lincoln’s death. A series of Classical details, including swags, wreaths, and eagles, embellish the attic level of the building. The interior is divided into three sections by 50-foot high Ionic columns, the center section containing the statue by French. The chambers on each side contain murals. On the left wall Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is inscribed, and on the right his Second Inaugural Address appears.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).
As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for a quarter-century and was the precursor of the modern-day Democratic Party. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793) and second Vice President (1797–1801).
A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”