There are many memorials and museums to visit in Washington, DC, but my clear favorite is the Lincoln Memorial. Whenever out-of-town guests want to see DC’s best places to visit, I always drive them by the White House and then to the Lincoln Memorial. Last week, a friend was in DC for a few hours during a lay-over to Europe. She only had a couple of hours so we went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (another one of my favorites — for its sheer beauty and solemn feeling one gets when visiting it) and the Lincoln Memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial is majestic, powerful and serene. It’s neat to walk up the many steps (it always reminds of Rocky in the famous scene in Philly where he’s running up the steps). Then, the view from the top of the steps takes your breathe away. The Reflecting Pool (which is undergoing major renovation right now), the Washington Monument, the US Capitol, etc. It’s a spectacular view. And, as great as the view is during the day, I like it better at night, especially when there’s a full moon.
President Lincoln sits proudly in the center of the memorial. Then, to the sides, are two of his most famous speeches — “The Gettysburg Address” and his second inaugural address.
The other highlight is stand near the top of the steps where Martin Luther King delivered his historic “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963. Standing there will give you chills and goosebumps (for those of us that volunteer and mentor inner-city children to help provide a level playing field, this is a particularly special place). This spot is also where President Obama spoke to so many people during his Inauguration.
A couple of times in the past 25+ years, when I’ve felt down or frustrated with school, work, life, etc, I’ve gone to the Lincoln Memorial, sat at the top of the steps, and just reflected on life. Then I think of the great sacrifices that President Lincoln, one of the greatest American heroes, endured in the mid 1800’s. It always puts things in perspective — and I always walk away refreshed and more positive.
The Lincoln Memorial is a special place. And, it’s another highlight of what I love about Washington, DC.
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