After resting (from our exhausting visit to Arlington National Cemetery) and eating at our hotel, we got in the car and drove into DC to explore the city. Perhaps because it was a cold and windy Sunday afternoon, we were able to find free parking across the street from the Washington Monument. We decided this would be a great time to walk around the National Mall. (Properly, the area we explored is called the Constitution Gardens; however, I've always heard it called the Mall.)
Right after we walked across the street to the Washington Monument, we saw Marine One land at the White House. Here are Marine One and the Washington Monument.
Here is Marine One flying over the city as it leaves the White House.
After watching documentaries about Marine One, it was wonderful to see the real thing in action.
Here are the kids standing next to the Washington Monument.
They're bundled-up because the hot day turned chilly.
We left the Washington Monument and walked towards the Lincoln Memorial, but first we came to the World War II Memorial.
The Memorial is divided into an Atlantic Theater and a Pacific Theater. Because my grandfather fought in Europe, we were more interested in the Atlantic Theater section.
Though I do not love the WWII Memorial's design, it did have some good features.
Here is a look back towards the Washington Monument.
After the WWII Memorial we came to the Reflecting Pool.
This adorable duck family followed us the length of the pool.
At the end of the Reflecting Pool, we finally arrived at the Lincoln Memorial.
Naturally, the kids reached the top of the stairs first.
When I reached the top, I remembered I'm acrophobic, but that didn't stop me from seeing Mr. Lincoln.
When we safely made it down from the Lincoln Memorial, we wound our way around to the Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
We took this photo of the kids there, beside The Three Soldiers.
I wasn't sure if it was proper for the children to smile in such a solemn place but they simply couldn't help being happy alongside representatives of our noble servicemen.
As we walked along the Wall, we spotted this letter from a soldier who came home - to a comrade who didn't.
Here is the letter larger.
I think the Wall is the most emotional and somber area of the National Mall. Unfortunately, we passed some teenagers who made rude comments about the memorial aloud and this greatly upset S.
After the Wall, it was dusk so we made our way down Constitution Avenue and back to our car.