The National Parks Service has created some big flubs. The first is, of course, the Washington Monument; because when you think of the father of our country, you immediately imagine a giant phallic obelisk.
I think he would have preferred a cherry tree planted in his honor. Or mounted wooden teeth with the engraving “Leader of the Plague.”
The second big flub is the WWII memorial. It took ten years to design and build, and this was the best we could honor the greatest generation with? I’m certainly not the first to notice that it pays a strange homage to Nazi architecture.
Tourists swim in the water of the memorial. If they felt any reverence, perhaps they would respect the site and not bring Super Soakers when visiting.
A visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is an emotional experience. You’ll find visitors crying in front of its reflective black marble; some running their fingers or making rubbings over the etched name of a loved one lost during the war.
Personally, I always had an affinity for the Jefferson Memorial. It’s out of the way, and as such, much more intimate. Instead of the long reflective pool connecting monuments along the national mall, the Jefferson overlooks the Tidal Basin off the Washington Channel of the Potomac River. The Tidal Basin is one of my favorite spots in D.C. If you see pictures of the cherry blossoms in bloom, they are usually taken here.
If most people had to choose a favorite national monument in Washington, D.C., it would probably be the Lincoln Memorial. It’s because it’s the one they think of first. To be fair, what’s not to like? He’s sitting there literally larger than life, with bulging veiny hands and dead eyes.
You can watch eighth graders eat their bagged lunch on the front steps.
You can play a game and see how many people scream “Jenny!” across the reflecting pool. Double points if someone shouts back “Forrest!”