I went down on Sunday to a travel expo at the Washington Convention Center, and on the Metro on my way back to my apartment, I decided to see what kind of photos I could take for practice. I got off at the L’Enfant Plaza station, and walked a couple of blocks up to the Mall, where there were hundreds of people with the same idea, playing, running, strolling, and just basically enjoying spring.
I started my photo jaunt at the old Smithsonian Museum, and wandered on down to the Washington Monument. Due to the earthquake last year, the Monument has been closed to the public, and they’re just now starting to erect a scaffold to cover the whole monument, so that they can do repairs. The whole monument grounds are now mostly fenced off, too, mainly because any rock or tool falling over 500 feet could land anywhere nearby, and they want to take precautions. I agree with their thinking!
After I took a couple of pictures of the monument, and of some kite flyers, I went on to the World War II Memorial. It’s undergoing some renovation, so there was construction equipment scattered about, and the fountains were turned off (likely for winter), but the memorial to our “greatest generation” was still powerful and moving, especially the quotations, and most especially to see families walking around, some of them undoubtedly with fathers or grandfathers who fought. The Memorial grounds are circular, divided into two halves, to represent the two theaters of the war, the war on the Atlantic Ocean, and the war on the Pacific Ocean. In addition, each state and territory are represented by pillars with wreaths, to honor those who served from each. Quotes from the main people involved are placed around, as well as two series of bronze relief sculptures that you see on your way in, each piece with memorable and moving scenes of people in the war. It’s very subtle, but very powerful, a fitting tribute to those who accomplished so much, and who gave so much for us, who asked for nothing but to return to a normal life afterwards.
I spent most of my time there, then decided to see how the cherry trees were doing down by the Tidal Basin (they’re not supposed to be in full bloom for a couple of weeks). When I got there, I saw all the trees had really tiny buds, between 1/16 and 1/8 inch wide, which means it’s going to be a little while yet, but they’re coming! A couple of shots of the Jefferson Memorial, and it was time to head back to the Smithsonian Metro station, and the long Blue Line ride back to Crystal City.