By Matthew Barbato, Evanston Township
A photo essay of Insider Matthew Barbato’s trip to Washington, D.C.
Arlington National Cemetery is the most famous, most visited cemetery in the United States. More than 400,000 graves occupy Arlington and most who are buried there served as active duty members of the armed forces. The government provides standard-issue white marble headstones free of charge which cover more than 624 acres.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is one of Arlington’s most imposing monuments. Unidentified soldiers from WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War have occupied the tomb. Sentries from the Army’s U.S. Third Infantry guard the tomb 24 hours a day and perform the Changing of the Guard ceremony every half hour in the Spring/Summer and every hour at other times of year.
The Washington Monument, located on the National Mall, is the world’s tallest masonry structure at 555 feet five inches. It was built as a tribute to America’s first president, George Washington. Construction of the obelisk began in 1848 and was completed in 1884. The observation deck, which closed in 2016, allowed visitors to see most of the District of Columbia as well as parts of Virginia and Maryland. Pictured here are Mash contributor Matthew Barbato (center) and his brothers.
The 50 flags surrounding the Washington Monument represent the 50 states of the nation.
The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is located on the National Mall east of the Lincoln Memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial houses Daniel Chester French’s 19-foot-high statue of Abraham Lincoln. The memorial that houses the sculpture was designed by Henry Bacon and completed in 1922. The statue is so large that it had to be constructed inside of the memorial. Two of Lincoln’s great speeches – the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address – are carved on the north and south walls. The memorial has been the site of important rallies and marches in America’s history and may be best known as the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a powerful memorial to soldiers killed and missing in action in Vietnam. More than 58,000 names are etched on black granite panels, and are ordered by date of death. At the wall, volunteers wearing yellow caps supply paper and pencils for making rubbings. Thousands of mementos are left at the wall each year, including flowers and letters of thanks.
On November 5, 2016, protesters wearing masks marched through the streets of Washington D.C. They were part of an annual global protest expressing First Amendment rights and protesting big government, banks, corporations and pharmaceutical companies. The goal is to seek positive change through peaceful protest. The first Million Mask March occurred in 2013. The largest events occur in London and Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Capitol is situated in a 58-acre park at the east end of the Mall. The Capitol dome is an iconic symbol of American democracy. Construction began in 1851 and continued throughout the Civil War while the Capitol housed wounded soldiers from the war. The dome was completed in 1868 and underwent a restoration that was completed in 2016.
The staircase pictured here leads to the balcony where the Inaugural Address will take place in January 2017. Voters will decide whether Donald J. Trump or Hillary R. Clinton will descend that staircase as our next U.S. president.
Scaffolding around the Capitol is currently being erected in preparation for news media and the crowds of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, also known as the White House, was first occupied by John Adams in 1800. White House tours must be scheduled well in advance. The closest we could get was the front fence.
Our family’s reason for visiting Arlington National Cemetery was to honor the memorial for my uncle Nicholas Ferencz III, USMC. He died on September 11, 2000 in a F/A-18 flight training exercise. He was a veteran of the Gulf War.
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