Seen in The National Park in DC
I showed you some war statues last week, and now we will take a walk in the National Mall with the many Memorial Parks. I would like to start with the impressive Thomas Jefferson Memorial at The Tidal Basin and The Potomac River. Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826.
Franklin D. Roosevelt took the initiative to have this white neo-classical marble memorial built as Jefferson played an essential role in the US history of The United. The architect who won the task to create the monument, John Russell Pope died from cancer in 1937. His associates Otto Eggers and Daniel Higgins completed the memorial design. It was inaugurated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in April 1943, 200 years after Jefferson’s birth. Here is the informative homepage about both Jefferson and the memorial.
Jefferson was a political philosopher, architect, musician, book collector, horticulturist, diplomat, inventor and third president of the United States. In a future post, I will show you my impressions from his home Monticello in Virginia.
The next monument is celebrating John Paul Jones, 1747-1792, a Navy hero from the Revolutionary War. He was a Scottish immigrant and succeeded through personal achievement instead of inherited right of birth. The bronze statue sculptured by C.H. Niehaus. Dedicated by President William Taft in 1912 as the first Potomac Park monument.
I have not yet begun to fight! – John Paul Jones quote uttered during a battle
At the same Tidal Basin, you find the impressive Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial that takes you through his four terms of presidency. He never wanted a monument of this large-scale himself. (From the homepage):
Located along the famous Cherry Tree Walk on the Western edge of the Tidal Basin near the National Mall, this is a memorial to FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt.
The memorial traces twelve years of American History through a sequence of four outdoor rooms—each one devoted to one of FDR’s terms of office. From the days of his first Presidential campaign during the depths of the Great Depression, Roosevelt spoke directly to the people. “I pledge you, I pledge myself,” he said in his 1932 acceptance speech, “to a new deal for the American people.” Four years later, he proclaimed that “this generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”
Throughout his Presidency, 1933-1945, he addressed America by radio in what came to be known as fireside chats. More than 50 years after Roosevelt’s death, his own words call out from the walls of his memorial as if he were somehow present.
Both the FDR memorial and The Jefferson memorial have visitor centres with a bookstore and information. Walking through the large park, you get an impression of the difficult time of economic depression and the World War II, and FDR was a remarkable president.
Doctor Martin Luther King’s 2011 memorial is also situated at the Tidal Basin among the famous cherry trees. In the link, his quotations from the monument can be read. The Chinese sculptor artist is Lei Yixin.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Strength to Love, 1963.
“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
From the “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963.