First impression was the number of monuments, memorials, and museums contained within the National Mall and surrounds is nearly overwhelming. How could I possibly see everything in two days? Well, the answer is, I could not.
We began the morning by walking the Mall and visiting many of the monuments, memorials, and government buildings. Beginning at Congress, we moved onto the White House and then turned south towards the Mall. Stop one was at the WWII Memorial. Quite expansive oval surrounded by pillars each carrying the name of a state or protectorate.
and then on to the Lincoln Memorial.
Followed by stops at the Vietnam Memorial,
and finishing up at the Jefferson Memorial.
The statues in the Korean Memorial evoke an entirely different emotion. First, the Memorial is quite haunting with a sense of isolation and despair. Second, these are not the young men from Vietnam! Members of the Korean Memorial all appear to be seasoned and grizzled veterans, inured to the hard life of campaigning. For these men, war does not seem a great adventure. I selected two of the individual statues to highlight. In their faces, I see anxiety and weariness as they brace against the harsh weather. I fail to get the same emotion when viewing the young men in the Vietnam bronze work.
Both Memorials are striking but, for me, the Korean War Memorial really delivers the more profound emotional hit. Had I visited on the snowy Monday rather than the sunny Saturday, the impact would have been even more profound.