Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, July 31, 2011


The next day of our tour was to visit war memorials, the White House and have a free afternoon visiting the Smithsonian Institute. However, I had made arrangements to visit  blog friend, Denise from "An English Girl Rambles", during our free afternoon.
First stop was The Arlington Cemetery, "the nations most sacred shrine". It has been a military cemetery since 1864. Over 300,000 veterans from all the nation's wars are buried here. John F Kennedy, Jackie and Robert Kennedy are buried here. There are almost 7,000 burials per year.

Just outside the cemetery is the the Marine Corps Memorial called the Iwo Jima Memorial. It is in memory of all Marine Corps personnel who have died in defence of their country since 1775. It is a beautiful, huge statue designed by Felix de Welden based on the iconic photo by Joe Rosental at the battle of Iwo Jima.

The Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial is actually a 7.5 acre park designed by landscape architect Lawrence Halpin. There are a sequence of 4 outdoor rooms, one for each of his terms in office. There are many wonderful sculptures, waterfall features and engraved in rock quotes of FDR. Here he is with his dog Fala and one of his quotes..

Then it was off to the Vietnam's Veteran's Memorial Wall designed by Maya Lin. There are two walls 75m long meeting at an angle and sunk into the ground. The stone, chosen for its reflective properties is from Bangalore, India. On completion in 1993 there were 58,191 names etched onto the wall, each year more are added.

We returned to the steps of The Lincoln Memorial. We should be seeing the famous reflecting pool, which stretched all the way to the Second World War Memorial and the Washington Memorial, however it is being reconstructed at the moment. It is 618m long and 51m wide.
The tall obelisk is The Washington Memorial, built in 1848 as a tribute to George Washington's military leadership from 1775-83 during the American Revolution.

On the steps I saw this plaque. I was actually standing where Martin Luther KIng, at the march on Washington for jobs and freedom, gave his famous speech...."I have a dream...." in 1963. I remember seeing it on the news, there were 250,000 people there.

The Korean Memorial is a walled triangle of greenery. There are 19 stainless steel statues, by Frank Gaylord, of a squad on patrol. On one wall there is 2,500 photos sandblasted into the wall. It was getting close to 12.30 and I was getting excited about meeting my blog friend, Denise, but alas we lost 2 members of our tour group and we had to wait for the guide to look for them.

Then we got caught up in traffic when we went to the White House. It was designed by James Hoban and built in 1872-1800 from white painted sandstone. It has been refurbished many times by different presidents. This is the front view but not the view often seen on TV, that is at the back. Security was very evident. Then we set off to drop those who wished at the Smithsonian Institute. Once again we were stuck in traffic. By then I was getting into a panic as I had made arrangements to meet Denise and Gregg at our hotel at 12:30. It was already 1:30. Luckily I could call her on our mobile/cell phone. They were at the hotel and happy to wait for us. More traffic, more traffic and more traffic........

One and a half hours later the bus pulled into the hotel driveway. I felt so bad asking someone I have never met to wait so long. However, Denise and Gregg are such a wonderful couple, they were happy to see us and they had no complaints about the delay. They took us to Georgetown and a lovely riverside restaurant for lunch.

 They introduced us to crabcakes and they were delicious as we sat by the pretty Potomac River. Denise and Gregg were such good company and it was like we had known each other for ages. I look forward to continuing our friendship via blogging.

They took us to see the Capitol, as our tour did not include this, much to Bill's disgust. I believe it was something to do with security not allowing any parking anywhere near the building.  The Capitol is the meeting place for Congress. It was completed in 1811 but there have been many alterations since. "Freedom" is the colossal statue on top of the huge dome.


  1. You had a busy scedule on the tour.
    The Vietnam memorial impressed me so much, all those names..., maybe I remembered that time when I was young.

  2. i am embarrassed that you came thousands of miles to see all this and i never have. thanks for my visit to our capital

  3. oops clicked to fast. i really like the korean monument. i have see the other things on TV and in news papers but not that

  4. WOW... what a wonderful trip, are you home now?
    Love, Jan

  5. I enjoyed looking at the photos so much! I knew of some of the places, but not others. Wonderful... and thank you for the commentary. P.S. Thanks for the great idea... Christmas ornaments!!! Yes!

  6. Hi Diane, I haven't been commenting much --but I am reading... Just wanted to say HI --and that I am enjoying your trip to our nation's capitol.

    So glad you got to meet Denise. She is one of my blog friends also--and I haven't had the chance to meet her yet.


  7. Great pictures Diane. Gregg and I are still talking about that wonderful afternoon we had with you and Bill.

  8. Great post on your DC visit. It is great that you were able to meet up with Denise and Gregg. It is great to meet fellow bloggers friends in person. I enjoyed all your photos.

  9. DC is a favorite "haunt" of ours (as tourists, as we live an hour and half away)! Sounds like a busy day for you. When my daughter was in junior high school, she went to a White House Christmas party for Secret Service. She was terribly disappointed that they didn't let her into the presidents bedroom (Reagan, at the time) to see if he left his PJ's on the floor or picked them up and folded them!

  10. Oh how envious I am! So close to Washington but didn't get there!
    Once too cold, once too much in a hurry, then always next time!
    Next time never came for me.
    Very impressed to see that the US have so honoured the Korean veterans, they are not so well known or honoured here at the War Memorial in Canberra, but I think I read that this is to be rectified, I hope so.
    Great blog report Diane.
    Colin (HB)

  11. You have seen so much Diane - have loved reading this post and seeing the pics of DC
    So pleased you were finally able to meet up with Denise and Gregg after much stressing through traffic!

  12. Beautiful photos, Diane! You did a renarkable job getting such good shots of each memorial. Did you know that President Franklin D Roosevelt was shown wearing a cape in that statue as he was in a wheelchair? He had polio as a child and had trouble standing, but he was good at keeping that fact quiet so that the public would not think he was "weak." I have great admiration for him.

    I'm glad you were able to meet your blog friends and that they took you by the Capital building. Before terrorism days we were able to walk right through its front doors into the main rotunda without any hassle. Now so much security everywhere - for good reason I'm sure.

  13. The Arlington Cemetery is something I have heard of and Ilove the photo of the the Iwo Jima Memorial is so wonderful.The stainless steel statues in the Korean Memorial are amazing and you look so happy in the photos it really sounds like you had a great trip.

  14. I went to the same places you photograph here 15 years ago. My girls were very young then, My husband went to Washington DC for a conference and we tagged along.

    Next time, you go to Sarawak, for a different experience. I went back in 2009, and went to the Mulu Caves. Then it was the biggest caves in the world. Now it seems they found some bigger in Vietnam.

  15. Thanks for taking us along on your Washington tour. I've experienced traffic there, so I know what you had to deal with. I'm glad you got to meet Denise and her husband. It's always a wonderful experience to meet blogging friends.

  16. I remember the first time I'd ever seen a squirrel was on the lawn of the White House I was terrible excited at the time.

  17. Wow, the sculptures of the soldiers! It's great that you catch up with blog friends.