Washington D.C. was certainly one of the highlights of our time on the east coast. Our D.C. adventure began as we crossed the Potomac River from Arlington. Walking over the bridge, we met the Lincoln Memorial. What a sight this is! Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, literally sits at one end of Washington D.C. and watches over the entire Capital.
The Lincoln Memorial
Just a week prior to visiting the Capitol, we were in Gettysburg…studying President Lincoln, his Gettysburg Address and his many contributions to our nation. In D.C., we were now standing at the feet of this great leader, reading his infamous words…now etched into the walls of the monument. The next day we would tour Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated. Chris and I are still amazed at how beautifully these visits and tours have all complimented each other. We love every moment of the time we spent studying Lincoln. I wish we could do this with every President…studying their life and character in layers…it truly adds such depth to our schooling. The combination of learning their history and walking in their footsteps gives us understanding of who our leaders were.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Back to our walking tour….After visiting the Lincoln Memorial, we captured a family selfie overlooking the Reflecting Pool and then headed over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This is a powerful memorial that honors the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. It is a wall of more than 58,000 names of Americans who gave their lives while serving our country in the Vietnam War. We were able to witness a veteran who was taking a rubbing of one of the names on the wall. That moment of watching someone honor and remember a fallen soldier…it leaves a vivid impression on your heart. It truly helps to personify the memorial…the statues…the story and the books…it’s the moments such as this, that help us to walk in history.
The World War II Memorial
From here we walked a short distance to the World War II Memorial. This large memorial of 24 columns (each representing a U.S. state or territory during the time of the war) surrounds a beautiful pool of fountains with the words of historic leaders continuing around the monument. It honors the memory of those who served in this war, lost their life in service and the battle that was fought against great evil. A wall of 4,048 gold stars stands to remind us of the war where sixteen million members of the U.S. Armed Forces served and that which 405,399 Americans lost their life in service.
The Washington Monument
After reading many of the notable quotes, we made our way towards the Washington Monument.
The Washington Monument stands in honor of our first President, George Washington. At 555 feet of towering marble, it is an impressive centerpiece of the National Mall and Washington D.C. I have much to say about this General and our first President…however I will simply state what I love most about him…his heart to serve this nation with integrity and humility. This President never sought the presidency…he was convinced and urged to become President. The American people and the leaders of the nation had to talk him into taking this office. What a refreshing thought…that his service record and character, made him so desired…that the people demanded his leadership. Naturally his monument sits in the heart of Washington.
White House Visitor Center
We rounded off our first day with a visit to the White House Visitor Center. This is located just down the street from the White House. I had previously contacted my state representative’s office in hopes of securing a White House tour…however that did not pan out. Apparently, in order to secure a tour, you need to contact your representative 3-6 months before your intended arrival…and even then, it’s rare to be approved for a tour. We still enjoyed the Visitor Center and my two tweens completed their Junior Ranger books. We followed up with a stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue and took a peak at the north entrance of the White House. We all agree…it really doesn’t seem that big…but really, that’s a good thing I suppose.
Our first day in the United States Capitol was wonderful and certainly memorable.
Have you visited The Capitol with kids? If so, what was your favorite memory?