Day 116

The National Mall (November 24, 2020)

A guest from California joined us on today’s walk. Kylie had never been to Washington D.C. so we took her for a tour around the National Mall.

First off, we passed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Founded in 1862, the Bureau produces American bank notes (coins are made by the United States Mint). The Bureau has two locations, the other is in aptly named Fort Worth, Texas.

We also passed the rather formidable Department of Agriculture.

But mainly we passed by the numerous museums that line the Mall, including the following

The United States Holocaust Museum
The Freer Gallery of Art
The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building
The National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of American History

In a city full of sculpture, our favorite sits at the entrance of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art.

Knife Edge Mirror Two Piece was sculpted in 1976-78 by the British sculptor, Henry Moore.

Between the two wings of the National Gallery of Art is a plaza that includes some mirrored sculptures. They bring light to an underground passage way and cafeteria that links the two buildings.

Sitting between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial is one of the Mall’s newest Memorials. Opened in 2004, it is dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II. It consists of 56 granite pillars, arranged in a semicircle around a plaza with triumphal arches on opposite sides. Each of the pillars is inscribed with the name of one of the states of 1945, as well as the District of Columbia, the Alaska Territory and Territory of Hawaii, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Northern arch is inscribed with “Atlantic”, the southern one “Pacific”, signifying the two theaters of war.

Just off the Mall and on the shore of the Tidal Basin is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Opened in 2011, it consists of a massive granite statue of the civil rights leader, carved by Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin.

From the Memorial there is a beautiful view over the Tidal Basin to the Washington Monument.

Just around the Tidal Basin from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is a memorial to another great American. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is dedicated to the 32nd President of the United States. Dedicated in 1997, it spreads over 7.5 acres through a sequence of four outhdoor rooms, one for each of FDR’s terms of office. There are a number of statues depicting the President and scenes from the Great Depression.

Throughout the Memorial are carved FDR quotes. Many seemed particularly poignant during these times. They reminded us what it was like to have a President who can speak in complete sentences.

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