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Monday, May 23, 2011

Washington, DC: Jefferson and Arlington

We spent our second day in DC across the river at two of our favorite sites -- the Jefferson Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. The Jefferson Memorial is a beautiful building that was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing the classic, colonnade style to America, so the design of his memorial is rather fitting. A larger-than-life bronze statue of Jefferson stands in the middle of the memorial and is visible outside through the stately columns.
This trip to DC taught me that far too many Americans are ignorant when it comes to US history. As a lover of US history, I cringed countless times as I overheard the comments of passersby. The words of the Declaration of Independence are etched into the walls of the Jefferson Memorial, and I about died when I heard an intelligent-looking 30-ish American woman say, "Oh, I didn't know Jefferson said that." ... as if it were some random famous quote that she knew she'd heard somewhere before. Lady, it's arguably the most important document in our nation's history. And it was written, not "said" by Thomas Jefferson. Perhaps you should have paid more attention in elementary school. Anyway.
(10 points if you find me and April below!)
The Jefferson Memorial was super fun for Tasha because it had lots of stairs and room to run. We all spent a good amount of time chasing after and capturing the little munchkin.
We stopped by the George Mason Memorial briefly and Matt made fun of me for taking a picture of flowers, but they're a rare sight around here!
Having been cheated of pretty reflecting pool pictures on the Mall, we appreciated nature's own reflecting pool as we walked along the riverfront.
Our first stop at Arlington National Cemetery was the Women in Military Service Memorial, which offered beautiful views of both DC and the cemetery from its rooftop sidewalk.
The Kennedy gravesite with its famous eternal flame is in the distance on the left, and Arlington House--General Robert E. Lee's former home--is in the distance on the right.
The sheer number of headstones honoring men and women who served our country is humbling. The cemetery seems to go on and on forever.
We eventually made our way up to the Memorial Amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknowns. Tasha enjoyed the amphitheater while Matt, Alex and I watched the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
As we walked toward the exit, we came upon an Army funeral procession with full military honors--white horses included. It was beautiful and touching, and a poignant reminder of the individual sacrifices that each headstone at Arlington represents.


  1. This is such a great preview of our trip. And if I don't get good pictures, I will just steal yours!

  2. I'm so excited for your trip, Sydna! I kept wishing we had just one more day to spend in Georgetown or Alexandria, or that we could convince a toddler to spend some time in the Holocaust Museum... you're going to love it all!

  3. OMG! I know what you mean when it comes to the ignorance of most American, when it comes to US History or even just common knowledge stuff. While I didn't attend the DODDS school overseas, but German school... I'm always amazed how much more I know than some American, who got educated on American History. Beautiful Photos as always.

  4. Awww this weekend! To die for, I love DC so much!

  5. I love going to DC and seeing those sights. It never gets old visiting those places


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