Monumental Moonlight

Attention all Washington Area residents: Go Do Something Fun! Surprise yourself with a moonlight stroll among the Presidents. I love taking the Metro downtown to the Smithsonian stop or L’Enfant Plaza. Both drop you close to Constitution Avenue. Point yourself in the direction of Abe or perhaps Thomas.  Wander among Franklin and his companions, Eleanor, Fala and the guys in the Bread Line. All lit up against a black sky, the stone statues are nobler and even more imposing, beckoning you to reflect on their words spoken long ago. Fewer tourists venture out at night, so it’s a much more intimate experience.

On a warm night, head over to the World War II Memorial. There’s nothing like the spray of the fountains to cool off a hot summer night. Find a marble bench and relax as the lights move among the great white structure. Find your state (Does DC have one too? I need to check next time) and take a moment to appreciate those brave soldiers who triumphed in that brutal crusade. Imagine our world had the war ended differently. Then contemplate the loneliness our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan experience so far away from home, facing the unknown. 

I remember climbing the steps of the Capitol one night, hand in hand with my husband, then boyfriend. This was well before 9/11 so maybe you can’t do this anymore. (Can you?) We found a comfortable spot to sit and gaze ahead at the sweeping downtown mall. The grass battered, the pebbles scattered, the buildings lined up, glowing eerily in their majestic orderliness. And I thought “All this belongs to me, the American Tax Payer.” It’s yours too, so go enjoy it.

The Washington Monument from the World War II Memorial
The Washington Monument from the World War II Memorial


Musings About the DC Area

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Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.

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