Friday, April 17, 2015

Washington Monuments

Despite the fact that I have regularly attended the Washington, DC pen show for more than a decade, I have never, as in not ever, gone into the city. The last time I was here was to conduct research for my dissertation in 1978, a long time ago. So when we emerged from the Smithsonian Metro Station on Thursday it was as if I were here for the first time. And our approach to the city reflects that. We are pure tourist, trying to get around to all the monuments and not succeeding, and gawking at it all.

And, despite the fact that I have read about all the security since 2001, we were a little shocked by the fact that we could not get a White House tour, though a very helpful intern of our congressman, Mike Honda, reassured us that the tours of the White House are of little interest these days. And he did, very helpfully, arrange for us, on short notice, to get a tour of Congress on Friday.

Most of Thursday was spent wandering the mall and riding the local hop-on, hop-off tour bus.

Here are a few images:

Our first glimpse of the Washington Memorial on the Mall near the Smithsonian

The World War II Memorial was a pleasant surprise. Three of our parents were engaged in the war effort, though none saw combat, but we found this both moving and a very attractive and fitting tribute to "the greatest generation."

Of course, Lincoln. Like everyone who visits we were in awe, as one should be

The reflecting pool is undergoing maintenance. But I rather like this image I captured not so much of the monument as the young man unselfconsciously part of the nation's history. Hope? The future? I don't know

The Gettysburg address, arguably the finest speech in the nation's history. When I taught survey courses, each class would hear me read it.

Father Abraham. Not a saint, but arguably America's greatest president. Without him there might not be a republic.

The Washington monument again. I am suffering reflecting pool deprivation.

Pens? Sadly Fahrney's was closed when we stumbled past at the end of the day.

My new fisheye (7.5 mm) lens. I'm not yet convinced this was a good purchase, but I've yet to be able to use it effectively for large scale interiors.

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