Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is one of those monuments that everyone must see when they go the Washington D.C! Just the sight of the monument takes any historians breath away! There is a lot of meaning put into just the way he is sitting. There is so much symbolism and history packed into one monument. There is even a museum next to the Lincoln Memorial, so you can brush up on his amazing history!

The Lincoln Memorial in at the west side on the National Mall in Washington D.C. It was designed by Henry Bacon. It is very large, and is made completely out of marble! The building itself stands almost 100 feet high, 119 feet wide, and 190 feet long! It is surrounded by columns, much like the ones seen in Ancient Greek structures. There are 38 columns, standing for all of the 38 states that were still in the Union at the time of Abraham’s Presidency. The names of those states are also written at the top of The Lincoln Memorial.

The sculpture of President Lincoln inside the memorial was designed by Daniel Chester French. He originally wanted the Lincoln Memorial to only be 10 feet high, but since the actual building was so big, they had to enlarge in to be 19 feet tall so that he would not look like a dwarf in the building. On both walls next to Lincoln that makes up the sides of the building there are speeches made by Lincoln. On the northern wall, it contains Lincoln’s second inaugural speech. On the southern wall, it contains his Gettysburg address. Above both of these speeches, there are pictures of angels freeing slaves.

The idea of making a memorial for President Abraham Lincoln came two years after Lincoln’s assassination. Some people came together and formed the Lincoln Monument Association. They decided that they would build The Lincoln Memorial. It took a very long time to decide all of the details about building it. It wasn’t until 1901 before they found a place to build it on, and wasn’t until 1911 that the association got the $2 million needed to fund the building of the memorial. This was provided by a bill signed by President Taft.

The construction started in 1914 and was completer in May 1992. By the time that it was completed, the Union had expanded 12 more states. This was then when all of the 48 states were put on the outside of the memorials walls. When Alaska and Hawaii finally entered the Union, there was a plaque added with their names. As you can tell, these were the final two states to become part of the United States of America.


Vietnam Memorial

The Vietnam Memorial is located in the National Mall. This Memorial honors those men and women who served in Vietnam and lost their life or was declared missing in action. The wall actually opened in 1982 with a week long ceremony. The design for the memorial went to a local college and they had a contest to design the memorial it had to make no political statement, reflect the mood of the mall, and include all the names. Maya Ying Lin was the winner of the contest she is from Asian descent she was also awarded $50,000 for her design. There are about 60,000 names on the memorial today. The names are arranged in alphabetical order.

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Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is one of the many gorgeous monuments in Washington D.C. It is located at the end of the National Mall, and was built to in honor of George Washington. Standing at about 555 feet tall, this monument is the tallest stone structure in the world. It is made out of granite, marble, and sandstone. Robert Mills was the designer and the architect. The construction started in 1848, and didn’t end until 1884! This was 30 years after Mills had died. What is really odd is that they stopped building the monument for almost 30 years because it didn’t have enough money to fund the rest of the construction. It wasn’t until October 6, 1884 that it was finally opened to the public.

George Washington was known as the “Father of the Country” because of his famous leadership in the seeking of America’s independence. He was respected by many people. Ten days after his death, a Congressional committee recommended a monument be built in honor of Washington. First, John Marshall (a representative from Virginia) thought that there should be a tomb built within the Capitol in Washington D.C. There was still a lack of funds though, and there was much discussion and disagreement about what type of memorial should be built in honor of Washington.

Finally, progress started to happen in 1833. That year was the 100th anniversary of Washington’s birth. At this time, many citizens came together to form the Washington National Monument Society. Since there was very little funding, they began to collect donations so that they could make the building of the monument possible. Over the next couple of years, they had raised over $28,000. They decided that the best thing to do is hold a competition. Whoever made the best design of a memorial for Washington would have their design built. This happened in 1836. The winner was Robert Mills, as mentioned earlier. He had just been chosen to be Architect of Public Buildings for Washington.

His original design was to be 600 feet tall; four sided, tapering as it gets taller, and a flat top. Around this, he wanted there to be a circular colonnade. The top of this would be a statue of Washington in a chariot. Inside the colonnade would also include 30 Revolutionary War heroes’ statues. There was much debate over the design. First, it cost well over $1 million. This would be over $28 million dollars today! They decided to start building anyway in 1848. They still questioned the building of the colonnade though. They already had $87,000 that they had collected, and hoped to make more donations while the building was taking place.

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Jefferson Memorial

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a monument that is located in Washington D.C, visible from the West Potomac Park. Just to review a little, Thomas Jefferson was the third resident of the United States. He was also Founding Father. Franklin Roosevelt first thought of the idea of having a memorial for Jefferson. At this time, there were many monuments that were dedicated to past presidents, so Roosevelt thought that Jefferson deserved one. This finally got passed by Congress on June 26, 1934.

The memorial was dedicated finally in April 1943. This was right on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson’s birth. The design of the memorial was made by John Russell Pope. The design was based on the Roman Pantheon. Pope thought that it would symbolize the ideals of freedom, equality, and independence that came from Jefferson. The outside of the memorial is made out of Vermont marble and the inside is made out of white Georgia marble and limestone. On the inside, in the very middle of the monument, is a statue of Jefferson standing. The pedestal that he stands on alone is 6 feet tall. Total, the statue is about 19 feet tall, and is made out of bronze. The monument was finished in 1947.
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Cherry Trees
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as gift of friendship to the United States from the people of Japan. In Japan the flowering cherry tree or "Sakura", as it is called by the Japanese people, is one of the most exalted flowering plants. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformations Japanese Culture has undergone through the ages. The blooming of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. has come to symbolize the natural beauty of our nation's capital city. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the nation and around the world come to the Nations Capital to
witness the spectacle, hoping that the trees will be at the peak of bloom for the Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.'s rite of spring.

World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial is one of the newer memorials in Washington. It opened in 2004. It is located between the Wahington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, next to the famous Reflection Pool on the National Mall. The memorial has two large pavilions that represent the two main theaters of war -- The Pacific and Atlantic. Each Column on the outside of the wall represents each of the states and territories owned by the United States at the time. This memorial is truly magnificent to see during the night due to all the lighting in the fountains and on the columns.

The Freedom Wall

The Freedom Wall in the World War II Memorial is on the west side. The wall contains about 4000 gold stars. Each of the gold stars represents 100 American soldiers who lost their life in this very costly war.

WWII Memorial at night
"Freedom Wall"

Arlington National Cemetery

This cemetery honors those who have served in our nation's military. Unlike other cemetaries this also honors those missing in action. When you first walk in you get overwelmed by the number of head stones. Some of the bodies buried there were dated from the Civil War. People that are buried here must meet certain requirements. The requirements.

Changing of the Guard

This is a ceremony to honor the Unknown Soldier. This tomb is guarded 24 hours of each day in every season. This is a very strict job and you MUST meet these requirements.

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Mount Vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon
George Washington's Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is located near Alexandria Virginia. Mount Vernon was home to George Washington who was the first president of the United States. Mount Vernon was built in 1757. George Washington wasnt power glad, if i may say. He would always liked to be addressed as "General Washington" instead of "President Washington." His wife was very hospitable, she would take in the injored and the sickly form the street. One man stayed there for about 4 mounths. This magnificent house has been treated well, loving family, careing people.