M has a conference in DC this weekend/week, so we've been here since Saturday and we're here in DC through part of today (Monday). Since M was in meetings all day, I took the opportunity to go see sites I had not visited before, the MLK and FDR memorial sites.
It was a gorgeously sunny, brisk winter's day, about 40 degrees. I decided I needed the sunshine and didn't want to stay cooped up in a hotel all day. I hopped on the subway and went to the Mall. I found the MLK and FDR sites on the maps they have set up around the Mall and started walking toward them. They are both set up around the tidal basin across from the Jefferson Memorial. I could have gone directly to them, but by the time I reached the tidal basis, I had warmed up from the walking and it was just so gloriously sunny, I decided to take the long way and walk around the entire tidal basin to end up at the sites.
Unfortunately I didn't have my nice camera with me because both batteries had run down and I lost my recharger. I ordered a new re-charger, but it didn't arrive in the mail before we left for DC. So all these shots were taken with the camera on my cell phone. So, I've been to DC countless times and I live within 3 hours of the place, but I never knew there was a memorial site for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (Official FDR website) I learned about it from a tourist travel book in the hotel. FDR's memorial is set up as outdoor rooms marking each of his 4 terms as President. There are pools, waterfalls, statutes, reliefs, plaques and it has a very peaceful feeling to it. Very calm, contemplative, relaxing.
This is one of the sculptures, depicting men on the soup line during the Great Depression.
Here is one of the many plaques displaying quotes from FDR. I thought this one was particularly important for our current economic situation and thought of the Occupy people in all the big cities around the U.S. I think a number of our politicians need to walk through this memorial and take a lesson from what FDR did in our last great economic time of need.
Next I went to the Martin Luther King memorial. (Official MLK website) This is a grand, impressive work of art. It looks like MLK is coming out of a mountain. It's very impressive and moving both from an artistic standpoint and from an historic standpoint.
Here is one of MLK's quotes (click on it to make it larger) that I thought was appropriate today as Rick Perry's recent poltical ad took a swipe at gays and accused Obama of having a war against religion. It's this kind of ignorance that allows injustice to continue in this world. We've got to stop this mentality of "us" against "them," and realize as long as we're attacking anyone, we will never live in the type of world we want. We have to remember we share this world, it's not something to be possessed by one group or one ideology.
Update: Here's what the captions are on the stone slabs in the pictures above since Blogger isn't allowing them to be enlarged when you click on them.
The first from the FDR memorial reads: The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
The second from the MLK memorial reads: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.