Sunday, July 10, 2011

Politicians or Patriots

Washington DC is a great place to visit for a anyone that has become tainted by the skepticism and cynicism that goes with the present climate of politics. (oh, that would be me) I have needed an infusion of idealism sparked by seeing how  our nation started and what our Founding Fathers had in mind for a nation that was to be free and provide us with the "pursuit" of happiness.  I think people forget that our country was set up to allow us to search or pursue our happiness not a guarantee that we would always be happy. It was their intent to set up a government  that would  protect our freedoms.

AND....while  I  haven't  been particularly happy with some of the ongoing antics coming out of our politicians, I do love our country.  I love my life  (most days) and appreciate the day to day ease of living in my home.  I think I (maybe a lot of us) take it all so much for granted because we are caught up in our everyday routines and don't think at great length about how blessed we are.

With that in mind, it is a real reaffirmation of the glory of living in America when you see these:

The US Capitol

The Capitol was started in 1793 and took 21 years to build.  Thomas Jefferson wrote that "the first temple dedicated to the sovereignty of the people."  It, however, was burned down in 1812 and had to be rebuilt.

We picked the weekend that the Dali Llama was making
 a speech at the Capitol. Here we are
with a few thousand friends

If you don't like crowds this wasn't the day to be at the Capitol. I, on the other hand,
was having a GREAT time.

The Rotunda from the view of me looking up with my mouth hanging open in awe.

 Lincoln Memorial

This is one of the Memorials that just take your breath away. The Memorial is 190 ft. wide which makes
Lincoln's statue appear dwarfed but it is 19 ft. by 19 ft.

Arlington National Cemetery and Arlington House

Arlington National Cemetery is on the site of the 1100 acre home of Robert E. Lee.  Lee's wife, Mary had inherited the property from her father who was the grandson of Martha Washington and the step-grandson of George Washington.In 1861 the Lees vacated their home after having lived in their home for more than 30 years. This was due to the fact that Robert E. Lee had taken the side of the Confederacy and the Union took over the property.  The Union turned it into a National Cemetery. Today there are more than 300,000 men and women interred there on 624 acres.

At the Tomb of the Unknowns a 24 hour a day sentinel watches over the tomb.  This is a picture of the changing of the guards.  During the day, this time of year the sentinels change every half hour with a very precise ceremony.

Robert E. Lee's home, Arlington House still stands at the top of the hill overlooking the cemetery.
Washington Monument

555 ft tall. Impressive

Looking up again, with my mouth open again.  WOW

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world.

There are 838 miles of bookshelves in the library.

Hope you aren't bored with my vacation pics but that is what I am doing for the time being.  As I haven't been reading the newspapers or watching TV, maybe important things are happening that I don't know about.  We did see President Obama board his helicopter yesterday on the South Lawn.  I hope he wasn't leaving town for anything that is worrisome.

So for today, I am going to go back out and see a few more sights around DC. I will show you some of the Smithsonian favorites, as well as the Korean and Viet Nam Memorials on my next couple of posts.

The Good for the city to visit.

The Bad....The traffic here is like nothing I have ever seen. In today's Washington Post, it says that DC has surpassed LA for the worst traffic.  That's a #1 that I wouldn't want to be part of.

The Weird for the Day....While Pierre L'Enfant is credited with designing Washington DC, he in fact was fired after he turned in his plans. (His original plans are housed in the Library of Congress) He initially wasn't paid for his work. He spent much of the remainder of his life trying to collect  payment for his work. Later in his life was paid a small amount of money that went to his creditors.  He died in poverty.


bodaciousboomer said...

Wow. I feel like I've been watching the Travel Channel or PBS. Very cool kiddo.

Jewell said...

I hate politicians, abhor history, but adore DC and love my country mightily! DC is one of my favorite places to go, and frankly Arlington is not a place to be missed. Ever. No matter how many times you've already been there. I bawl every time they play Taps at the changing of the guard, am awed by the precision of the cemetery (except for the fact they can't seem to bury our nation's heroes appropriately), and love ogling the memorial stones in Section 1....stunning and proud monuments of times past that reflect the awe that I have for those in our military.

More pictures please!!!! =) xoxox

meleahrebeccah said...

Oh my gosh! The photo of the ceiling of The Rotunda is BREATH TAKING. I've been to DC a few times, and yet somehow, I've never made it to most of these land marks.

mcmerb said...

What a wonderful way to travel - no traffic, no sweat - it's free, and you (I) can enjoy the amazing sights right there from your (my) recliner! Thanks!!

Cheryl P. said...

Sorry, for the slow response, Michele. Yesterday was a travel day from hell. 2 cancelled flights, 2 delayed flights, and one diverted flight before finally getting home.

I was worried people would be bored. Isn't that the epitimy of nerdiness showing vacation pics?

Cheryl P. said...

I totally, agree about the memorials that honor the military. So very much my favorites. I actually cried at the Viet Nam wall.

There was a World War I vet at Arlington. He was probably late 90's and had people helping him to a grave site. OMG. Just consider me a cryin' fool.

Everyone should go see the changing of the guards at least once in their lives.

I, too, am like you in that, I have lost all respect for politicians and have become a rageful cynic. But I remain ever hopeful that things will improve.

Cheryl P. said...

I am so glad you enjoyed the sites. As this is what I was doing for the week, I decided that is what I would post about but I hoped that I wasn't boring my readers with "vacation pics". I am not even close to being a good photographer. I did really enjoy this trip though. After all that has happened lately in politics, I was becomeing a little tainted with skepticism. This trip renewed me a bit. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.

Cheryl P. said...

If you get a chance to go back sometime, that tour is awesome. Free as all the tours are and an hour of really interesting facts. I loved the rotunda and you are right it was BREATH TAKING.

meleahrebeccah said...

If I ever go back to DC, I'll be sure to look into one of those tours!

bodaciousboomer said...

Well at least it wasn't your Aunt Edna...

Cheryl P. said...

Lucky for all my readers that I don't have an Aunt Edna. If Aunt Edna looked like total crud in pictures she wouldn't be in any more of them than I am in.