“Pic of the Week”, December 21, 2018: The National Christmas Tree, Washington DC

18 National Christmas Tree (1)

I felt lucky to have seen the National Christmas tree beautifully decorated and lite up during a visit to Washington DC.  The National Christmas Tree is situated in President’s Park, right across from the White House.  For almost a century a beautiful tree has been decorated and illuminated at this site and it has become part of the nation’s Christmas tradition.  

The tree contains over 75,000 individual LED bulbs (donated by GE).  It’s lite every day from dusk until about midnight.  The walkway surrounding the National Christmas tree features 56 smaller state and territory trees, each decorated with unique hand-made ornaments.  Musical groups from across the country provide entertainment.  And, like many things in DC, it’s completely free.

Merry Christmas to all!

(Click on …

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Korean War Veterans’ Memorial, Washington

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One of the more unusual and more interesting monuments in Washington DC is the Korean War Memorial.  The Memorial is situated on the National Mall, close to the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool. 

The Korean War started in 1950 with the North Korean Invasion of South Korea.  North Korea was supported by China and the USSR; the United States lead a 21-nation United Nations force to help South Korea.  The war lasted for three years and ended in a tense stalemate which lingers to this day. Hopefully things are finally moving towards a more peaceful Korean peninsula.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates the service and sacrifice of 5.8 million Americans who served during the three-years of the Korean War.  The United …

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Martlin Luther King Jr Memorial, Washington D.C.

00 Martin Luther King Jr Memorial (10)

 
“Out of the Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope”

 

One of the newer memorials in Washington DC is also one of its most unusual and memorable.  The Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial is located adjacent to the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, beside the National Mall and the FDR Memorial.   The MLK Memorial is spread along the banks of the Tidal Basin and cover four acres, but is centered on a carving of the famous Civil Rights leader. 

The MLK statue is incorporated into part of a large granite boulder that has been sliced into three pieces, much like the layers of a giant sandwich.  To enter the monument from the National Mall, you walk through the outer two …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 16, 2018: Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

Washington 285 Lincoln Memorial at night

Always held the 3rd Monday of February, President’s Day is intended to honor the first President, George Washington’s, birthday.  February (12th to be precise) is also the birthday of the President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President.  

Both men were great leaders who are remembered on their nation’s currency and through monuments in the nation’s capital.  Today’s Pic features my personal favorite, the Lincoln Memorial.   Built at the western end of the Washington Mall and styled after a Greek Doric Temple (which like Lincoln is featured on the $5 bill), there’s a H-U-G-E sculpture of Lincoln is inside.  If the Lincoln statue could stand up, it would be 29 ft (8.5 m) tall.  It’s carved of Georgia white marble and weighs 175 tons.  The …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 22, 2017: Christmas Tree, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

00 Christmas Tree Reagan Airport

Washington DC dresses up beautifully for the holidays, as witnessed by this gorgeous and huge Christmas tree at Reagan airport!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

 

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Washington’s National Cathedral

22 Washington 501 National Cathedral

The idea of a National Church was first mentioned by the great General and first American President, George Washington, but this dream did not begin to take fruition for more than a century.  Like all great projects, it takes time and lots of money to make the dream a reality.  Today the completed church plays an important role in its nation’s history having hosted many national days of prayer and several presidential funerals.

The National Cathedral is a beautiful NeoGothic church situated on the highest point in the District of Columbia.  It’s built in the style of the great European cathedrals and has a tall central tower (30 stories high), 231 beautiful stained-glass windows (one of which has a moon rock …

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“Pic of the Week”. May 24, 2013. Memorial Day tribute

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“Freedom isn’t free”.  Not sure who coined that saying but it has resonated with me for some time.  Those of us fortunate enough to live in the world’s democracies know that our freedoms come with a high price, and a debt of gratitude to the men and women in our military who make them possible.

The world has thousands of war monuments and in no place are these monuments more varied than in Washington D.C.  My favorite war memorial in D.C. is the Vietnam Memorial, beautiful in its simplicity, with over 50,000 names inscribed on its smooth polished granite surfaces.  Each name has a life’s story and someone’s grief associated with it, and every time you visit this monument …

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“Pic of the Week”. May 10, 2013. Stained glass reflection, National Cathedral, Washington D.C.

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I enjoy visiting cathedrals during my travels.  The architecture, beautiful art, attention to fine detail and soft lighting were designed to be a feast for the eye, the mind, and the soul.  When I enter a thousand year old church I try to put myself in the mind of the peasants for whom it was built — poor people who would have been awed by the size and grandeur of a church and by the large windows that lite it.

Stained glass windows are special not just for the colorful and interesting designs and stories they convey, but also for the beauty of the light transmitted through them and how it’s reflected on the walls and floors of the church.  This …

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