WWII Memorial

As you’re probably aware, there are many, many memorials scattered throughout Washington D.C. Memorials to individuals, to the different branches of the military, and to the wars fought by the US, and most of those are at the National Mall, not too far from the biggest memorial of all, the Washington Monument. They are all well-designed and moving, but the WWII Memorial was my favorite.

It’s in a great location between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, so there are great views in both directions.

There are bas-relief sculptures on either side to represent the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters:

The center of the Memorial is a pool with fountains.

There are meaningful quotes scattered throughout:

Freedom Wall has 4,048 gold stars, and each of those represents 100 American WWII personnel who died in the war or are still listed as missing. It is staggering to see the stars and know what they represent.

We noticed a lot of people sitting with their feet in the pool, and at first I thought that was a little strange and maybe even disrespectful, but then we came across a sign inviting people to sit (not stand or wade) with their feet in the water, as a reminder of the way American soldiers celebrated the end of WWII in the fountains of Europe.

Once I understood the meaning of the fountain, and why people were soaking their feet, I also took part, and it was a moving experience to do so, especially with the view of the Washington Monument in front of me. It felt like being part of something bigger, more important.

There are both Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Memorial, to represent the two Theaters in the war:

There are also 56 columns surrounding the Memorial, one for each state and territory at the time of WWII (if you’re doing the math, Alaska and Hawaii were territories at that point, as were the Philippines). The empty space in the middle of the column represents the losses suffered during the war, and each column is adorned with two wreaths…one of wheat to represent agriculture on the home front, and one of oak to represent the strength of the country.

Even though I didn’t lose any family members in WWII, it was an incredibly moving place to visit.

Do you have a favorite memorial in D.C. or elsewhere?

Markels Making Magical Memories–Day Fifteen

Bowling Green, KY to Belleville, IL; 279.6 miles. KY, IN, IL

We got started early on our way home, and I’m not going to lie…after over 800 miles of driving the day before, under 300 didn’t seem too bad! We even had a rainbow pointing the way home:

We stopped to stretch our legs at Smothers Park in Owensboro, KY. Since we were out so early, we didn’t need to worry about running into anyone, which was good, because I was feeling kind of like Typhoid Mary. It was kind of nice to end our trip the way we began, with a war memorial:

And there were some really cool fountains:

We picked up some donuts from the Donut Bank on the way home:

After driving 3,134.20 miles through 12 states and one district, not to mention taking 197,076 steps (close to 90 miles, I think!), through the streets of Washington D.C., Mount Vernon, Myrtle Beach, Disney World, and Kennedy Space Center, we finally made it home with the souvenir no one wanted…COVID-19. In spite of that, it was a great trip, and we made a lifetime’s worth of memories!

If you’re still interested in our vacation, stay tuned for a more in-depth look at some of the places we visited!

Lafayette Square

I already shared a few photos of our trip to the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis on my birthday; now I’m going to take a closer look at some of my favorite features of the area.

There are a few historic sites in the park, including a trio of cannons from a British warship which was sunk in the harbor of Charleston during the Revolutionary War. There is a also a bronze casting of a famous statue of George Washington…the only one for which he posed!

The park itself is beautiful…our favorite location was this little area by the Grotto Bridge:

We saw many beautiful flowers in the park, including one of my favorites, the hydrangea:

The park house, which was originally a police station, is also lovely:

The streets surrounding the park are filled with gorgeous homes, some of which still have mounting blocks out front!

And the Lafayette Square Fountain is just down the street!

This is definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods in St. Louis, and I’m looking forward to going back as the seasons change so I can capture more beautiful moments!

Maypole Fountain

I love finding cool fountains when we travel, and this maypole fountain that we saw in Frankenmuth in June is not only really fun, it’s also quite unique!

Dandelion Fountain

I think looking for unusual fountains is my new thing…this dandelion fountain on the Naperville Riverwalk is perfect. Make a wish!

Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park

Another charming spot in Charleston is Waterfront Park, which is home to the famous pineapple fountain:

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The fountain, which is open to wading, is only part of the park. There is also another fountain feature, as well as benches providing beautiful views of both the park and the harbor.