It’s difficult for me to substantiate what impressed me most about D.C.; the extent of its attention to history and technology is rather breathtaking given the political order the city is principally charged with keeping. More by coincidence than planning, a third element — culture — came across as yet another defining pillar.
Continue reading “Celebrating Culture”
Although Washington, D.C. is a veritable showcase for the United States’ complete history, certain monuments or exhibits testify to specific struggles and triumphs this country has endured and overcome. The western anchor of the National Mall is the Lincoln Memorial, which in addition to honoring a man whose vision allowed this country to rebuild after a seemingly irreconcilable split is apparently visited nearly 24 hours a day. I thought that at night the memorial would be empty and more deeply personally connecting than when shared with strangers, but even at 10:30 PM I was not alone in my quest for a one-on-one appointment with the sixteenth president. Nevertheless, no matter the hour there is something undeniably humbling about standing before Mr. Lincoln; for all the leadership courses and “dealing with conflict” seminars that are offered today, it’s hard to ignore those who seem to possess an innate sense of direction. Washington, D.C. is full of these reminders — and as magnificent as the Lincoln Memorial is, it is far from the only tribute to hallmarks of ingenuity.
Continue reading “Defining Moments”
It has been over ten years since I last visited my country’s capital, and as much as I remember dreading the weighty humidity and equally belligerent politics there, I began to have a longing for the showcase of culture and nationhood so prominently displayed just over 500 miles to the north of Charleston. I avoided my annual urge to visit Singapore and instead grabbed cheap tickets to DC for the Easter weekend.
The trip started with a somber visit to Arlington National Cemetery. Avoiding crowds, we headed first to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and its associated Changing of the Guard ritual. The tomb itself commemorates unidentified soldiers of World War I, though Unknowns from World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War are buried in three graves at the foot of the tomb. As always, the guards’ precision was impeccable, a solemn salute to the service of those who gave their lives defending our ideology and our freedom.
Continue reading “Wandering through History”