Touring The National Mall With Hundreds of Thousands of Others

Birds at the Jefferson Memorial

Birds at the Jefferson Memorial

Today marked day four of the Junior Fellows Inaugural trip.  Last night we were treated with extra sleep: five whole hours! Our first stop of the morning took place promptly nearby in Staunton, Virginia at Woodrow Wilson’s home.  Featuring red brick and white trim, the house boasted a notable size while still maintaining a relatively simple and modest look.

The back of the home featured a path down to an extensive row of bushes, trimmed and organized into a maze of sorts.  The most important aspect however was the surrounding area.

The home is situated along a narrow street among numerous other cozy looking Georgian style homes.  The close knit nature of the neighborhood, combined with the rural atmosphere left me wanting to move in right then and there.  Woodrow had it well off in a simple environment.

As great as it was to start our day off exploring the home of President Woodrow Wilson, the JF’s were probably most excited to reach the destination that spurred this whole trip: Washington, DC.

Junior Fellows at the Washington Monument

Junior Fellows at the Washington Monument

The Mall area in Washington is very picturesque, a fact that brings large crowds, paradoxically making it difficult to get good pictures.  Nonetheless, we were able to see many of the monuments remarkably unimpeded by security. Two places in and around the mall area come to mind as being popular with the visitors: the Martin Luther King Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument

Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument

The Martin Luther King, Jr. monument depicts the civil rights leader with his arms crossed, staring across the Tidal Basin toward the Jefferson Memorial.  The MLK monument is one of the newest to the Mall area, and it is a fitting monument for the occasion: the second inauguration of the first black President.

Though the MLK Monument was popular, the Lincoln Memorial was more so, and for good reason.

Taylor and Jessica, Lincoln Monument

Taylor and Jessica, Lincoln Monument

Not only is Lincoln one of our greatest president, but his monument also offers one of the most recognizable images in the United States and maybe even the world.

The Lincoln Monument

The Lincoln Monument

Looking east, the eye moves past the reflecting pool and is arrested by the impressive verticality of the Washington Monument, before gliding on toward the imposing Capitol structure.  You can’t beat that view.

View From Lincoln Memorial

View From Lincoln Memorial

We all wanted a picture at the Lincoln Monument.

Ryan at the Lincoln Memorial

Ryan at the Lincoln Memorial

The Korean War Memorial wasn’t an overly favorite monument among the group, but had a unique and eerie feel to it. The first noticeable part to the memorial is also its most distinctive part; scattered across a small field stands various soldier statues, each carrying their weapon, each having a different gaze.

The Korean Memorial

The Korean Memorial

Small plants and brush line the ground, giving you the feeling you are standing amongst a patrol in Korea.  Once you look to the left you find a lengthy charcoal grey wall.  This is no ordinary wall.  At a closer glance you will find the faces of various soldiers etched into the granite.  These ghost-like figures immediately gave me a sense of deserved solemnity.

Korean_Memorial_Reflection_Web

Both the wall and statues bring something different and new to the table when compared to the surrounding monuments, deserving respect not only to the fallen soldiers, but the artistic mind behind it.

Our next stop at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was intriguing not only its design but with such beautiful weather it was captivating to see the afternoon sunlight rushing behind Jefferson’s statue which stands tall in the center. The engraving on both ends of the rotunda seemed to stand out a bit more, which made for a breath taking scene.

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson looks across the Potomac toward the Washington Monument and beyond, to the White House.  It was one of our favorite monuments.

Junior Fellows at Jefferson Memorial

Junior Fellows at Jefferson Memorial

 

While the sun set over Washington, we had dinner with Junior Fellow alum Justin Veillon, who currently works for Congressman Kevin Brady.  While we caught up with Justin he was able to give us a vicarious glimpse into the life of a staff aide, covering the work he did, and offering his thoughts on living in Washington.  He gave us a better sense of how to move around D.C. For example, The Capitol is the center of the city and from that D.C. is divided in quadrants. As you travel through Washington it behooves you to have an idea what quadrant you are in and what direction you are driving because you could end up getting very lost. Justin also shared how the direction in which streets run can be quite a problem if you’re new in town. Some street lanes turn into contraflow lanes during certain times of the day in order to help rush hour, however, if you’re not familiar with this, you could be heading straight into another car. As a recommendation, we were told it is better and more efficient not to own a car and use the many transportation systems available throughout the city.

The Junior Fellows would like to thank Congressman Kevin Brady, Justin Veillon, and Brady’s office for providing us with tickets to the Presidential Inauguration.

Junior Fellows at the Capitol Building

Junior Fellows at the Capitol Building

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Touring The National Mall With Hundreds of Thousands of Others

  1. Wonderful write-up and the many sites you all visited are our nations treasures! I loved the last group shot of all the JF’s. Again, many thanks to Prof Yawn for making this trip happen 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s