The Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of the soldiers who gave their lives in service to the country. Two of America's former presidents, John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft are buried here. The crew of the Challenger space shuttle, civil rights leader Medgar Evers and film star Audie Murphy are among the many honored here. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, containing remains of unidentified soldiers from World Wars I, II, and the Korean War, are protected by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment or the Old Guard 24 hours a day. The changing of the guard ceremony is a moving tribute to them.
Located at the west end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the principal landmarks of Washington DC, its stately form overlooking the Reflecting Pool, a gleaming stretch of water that lays sprawled before its base. Daniel Chester French's 19-foot (5.7-meter) statue of Lincoln, seated and deep in thought, watches over the nation he helped create, alongside the carved text of the Gettysburg Address, providing a glimpse into a weighty period of American history. The memorial itself draws inspiration from the Greek architectural style, its 36 Doric columns represent the number of states in the union at the time of Lincoln's death. Surrounded by greenery on the banks of the Potomac River, the Lincoln Memorial makes for a soul-stirring, picturesque sight, a fitting ode to one of the nation's most revered Presidents.
The National Gallery is the national art museum, established in 1937, houses an extensive collection of European and American art in two spectacular buildings. It boasts exquisite collections in the form of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, medals, and decorative arts, showcasing the development of Western Art to date. Designed by I.M. Pei, this triangular building is a key city landmark and home to famous pieces of art and other temporary exhibitions.
Part of the original design for the federal city, this massive park stretches from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial. It has played host to many momentous, world-changing events throughout history including the 1963 March on Washington, the Million Man March and several presidential inaugurations. Today, the National Mall serves as a place for reflection, a memorial to American heroes, a symbol of freedom and a forum for the exercise of democracy. The Smithsonian museums, the Vietnam Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the iconic Washington Monument are some of the most well-known of the National Mall's many iconic sites. Certainly, any visit to Washington DC should start with a tour of the United States National Mall, aptly named "America's front yard."
The symbol of the city of Washington DC, this 555-foot (169-meter) marble obelisk on the National Mall honors the nation's first president, George Washington. The cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid in 1848, but it was fully constructed only in 1884. One can witness a visible change about one-third of the way up the obelisk marble - evidence of the onset of the Civil War. Construction was stalled during the war, and when the builders returned to the same quarry to complete the project afterward, enough time had passed to cause a significant change in the color. It is an emblem of the United States and an icon of the nation; the Washington Monument is a moving sight, its elegant form mirrored in the Reflecting Pool of the Lincoln Monument nearby.
Best known for its vast collection of azaleas, (a popular porch-flower), this 446-acre (180-hectare) garden park has much else to offer. Fountains, pools and open space separate a series of focused gardens at the United States National Arboretum. The National Bonsai Collection, a gift from Japan, is a fascinating exhibit of tiny trees. Other notable sections are the aquatic garden (filled with lotuses of many varieties) and the National Herb Garden.
Located in Carroll Hall, a historic landmark in downtown Washington, the Washington Stage Guild has established a specialized mission. The theater company offers audiences in the metropolitan area the neglected classics of older playwrights, especially the works of writers at the turn of the last century. The Washington Stage Guild produces four plays during its October-to-May season. The prolific George Bernard Shaw is a favorite, as is T.S. Eliot.
This predominantly African-American congregation has been worshipping here for over 100 years. Mount Zion United Methodist Church has a strong presence in the community through ministry and spiritual outreach programs that include all ages and cultures. The historic church building and cemetery served as a stop on the Underground Railroad and were featured in the best-selling novel, River Cross My Heart by Breene Clarke.
Famous as being the first mosque ever to be built in the capital city, Fazl Mosque or better known as the American Fazl Mosque dates back to mid 1900's and has also served as a headquarters for a well-known Muslim community. With as much Muslim population in the city, this religious site is frequented by a large number of believers. Although non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque, one can visit this place just to admire its intricate architecture.
St. David's is a growing congregation. On Sunday you can take part in a range of services, musical experiences, and educational offerings. The early morning service is in the traditional language but the one held later is a Family service, that happens in an energetic way along with music played on pianos. Family members of all ages participate in the service as ushers, readers, and offertory bearers. It is always a joyous moment to be a part of the congregation. Various trainings for children and the youth happen here. You can also join the programs and services in the Episcopal Church, drawn from the Book of Common Prayer. Become a part of the service and experience the showers of God's blessings.
The African Art Museum of Maryland has been providing the Baltimore area with access to fascinating African art and history since 1980. Besides its permanent collection, the museum also offers workshops for adults, kids, and families, outreach programs to local primary schools, lectures and an annual guided trip to Africa to experience African culture first hand. A great educational resource for people of all ages, races and cultures, the African Art Museum plays a vital role in its community. Call ahead for museum hours, as they are irregular.
William Howard Taft who was the President of the United States was also the tenth Chief Justice of the United States and a member of the Republican Party. In 1930 he succumbed to illness and was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. Sculpted by James Earle Fraser, hordes of visitors head to the Taft to pay their respects to the President.