Washington DC is a great place for students and people who like history. There are a lot to see at the National Mall and they are all free. It had been 9 years since I was last at Washington DC during the cherry blossom season that year. It has the highest concentration of memorials, monument and museums which can take many weeks to see them all. I was looking forward to going back there again to see great museums and memorials such as National Museum of Natural History and National Air and Space Museum.
We arrived there by Metro on a Friday morning. The first place we visited was Washington Monument. I noticed there were as many people there as last time we visited when there was a long line to go to the top. Soon I realized that tickets were required to go up to the top. Unfortunately the tickets for visiting the monument was all gone for the day. I didn’t remember that we had to get tickets ahead of time for Washington Monument the last time I visited the place. Perhaps it was due to the impact of the 9/11.
As we headed toward the Lincoln Memorial, there was something different from what I remembered. Right before the Reflecting Pool, there was something new: World War II Memorial. It was opened in 2004 and it honors the 16 millions who served in World War II and over 400,000 who died defending freedom. It has a pool in the middle with two half circles of granite columns enclosing the pool on two ends. Each stone column represents a state or a territory of United States who had people participated in WWII. It was a beautiful architecture piece and it was special because I felt peaceful there unlike many other memorials.
We next visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A simple V shape granite wall with names of military people who died fighting the Vietnam War. One wall points toward the Washington Monument and the other points toward the Lincoln Memorial. There were over 58 thousand names on the wall and there were still many names listed as MIA (Missing in Action). I felt for all of them. It was a war that cannot be won just like the current Iraq war. I understand the need to defend freedom and hard to watch others suffering but we need to find a better way than interfering with the business of other countries. There probably will be an Iraq Memorial the next time we visited there with thousands of people dying needlessly and. So sad.