Washington D.C. is the heartbeat of America. Washington D.C. is home to our democracy, our history and the sacrifice of our people. Visit five inspirational attractions and you will leave with a sense of who we are as nation.
The National Mall is a green oasis stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol Building with a reflecting pool toward the east end. Plan to spend at least a day exploring the five-mile span. Around the edges, guests will find monuments and memorials. Climb the steps to the Lincoln Memorial that looms over the grounds. The Gettysburg and Inaugural Address etched into the wall shows a small part of Lincoln’s contribution to the Unites States.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington is the most revered cemetery in America. The 620-acres of ground are the final resting place of over 285,000 people. Rows of white tombstones reminds guests that freedom is not free. The tomb of the three unknowns is guarded 24/7 by members of the Old Guard that is ceremoniously changed on the half hour or the hour. The ritual includes 21 steps and several pauses of 21 seconds symbolizing the highest military honor, which is the 21-gun salute.
Holocaust Memorial Museum
People get a sobering view of the atrocities people suffered during Hitler’s reign. Visitors receive information on one of the real victim’s and follow their journey for the duration of the tour. Included are displays about Hitler, propaganda at the time and the torture of his victims. The Holocaust Museum exhibit is not an uplifting experience, but a reminder that humanity cannot allow another Holocaust.
The Vietnam Memorial gives visitors a visual image of over 58,000 lives lost. Many veterans of the controversial conflict suffered displaced anger when they returned home. Standing almost as an apology, the wall is a simple design of black granite with the names of those that died etched into it. The names appear by the date of their death and the wall is lined with flowers and mementos.
The Smithsonian is a museum complex of approximately 20 different landscaped buildings. Some of the museums include the Air and Space Museum, American History Museum, Art Museum, Postal Museum, American Indian Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Natural History Museum. Although every building of the institute is worth visiting, visitors will be unable to see them all in one visit.