I had a dream of visiting America's Capitol for more than a decade... I finally went and of course a day before my trip the government has to shutdown and screw up all of my hopes and dreams. All of the Smithsonian Museums were closed, The Lincoln Memorial was not only closed but guarded, The Washington Monument was under construction and due to woman ramming her car into a barricade I almost didn't get to see The White House either. It was a strange feeling. All of us work hard and pay taxes and I think the people are feeling a little disrespected.
We did manage to find some things to do...like visit Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, we strolled along the National Mall and visited the Spy Museum which I highly recommend.
Overall I found D.C. very beautiful and so green. DuPont Circle was so lovely to walk around, as well as Georgetown. There are so many wonderful outdoor parks.
Mount Vernon was beautiful as well as informative. I learned a lot about America's first President, like his teeth were actually made from a combination of teeth he bought from his slaves and cow teeth. So gross. I was saddened overall, by the thought of the Native Americans slaughtered and that twelve of our President's have owned slaves, eight of them while they were serving as President. I cannot express the shame this brings me as a citizen of this country.
Walking along The National Mall was beautiful and to think of Martin Luther King Jr. giving his "I Have A Dream..." speech there was very moving. I was so sad that The Lincoln Memorial was closed, it was the thing I was most looking forward to. Instead I could only gaze up at him from the bottom of the steps - and it was so dark behind the pillars it was hard to even see him. The Korean War Memorial was surprisingly beautiful - with the statues of soldiers wandering through the green.
The Spy Museum was really fun. It is full of interesting tools, technology, photos, facts about all things espionage. They even offer spy mission games, one you can do in the museum and one you can do outside around the city. Sadly we did not bring the camera with us that day.
While I did manage to find ways to enjoy myself, overall I am a bit heartbroken over the trip and feel saddened about the state of our nation.
I have added some quotes from MLK that I find particularly relevant in our current times.
Washington's estate on Mount Vernon.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter."
The view of The Potomac River from Washington's estate on Mount Vernon.
Washington's tomb on Mount Vernon.
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
The Washington Monument.
The World War II Memorial.
"A nation that continuous year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
The Reflecting Pool.
The Lincoln Memorial.
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
The Korean War Memorial.
The White House.
The Capitol Building.
"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."