Day three of our little family vacation dawned bright and early and we had another leisurely morning at the hotel. We had a jam packed day 3 and thus why it deserves a post all its own.
Our first stop of the day was to the National Archives to see 3 documents that I spend about 6 weeks talking about in my US History class. For those of you who don’t know, the National Archives is home to the 3 most important documents in our country. The Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 3 documents that everyone one should know. And sadly do not.
I went online and reserved 4 tickets so we wouldn’t have to go wait in line. But it turns out I didn’t even need to do that because there was no wait to get in. We decided to hit up the important documents first and then explore the rest of the archives after that.
I was slightly disappointed because we weren’t allowed to take pictures and this time around I followed the rules. But it would have been neat to have been able to show my students pictures of the actual documents.
As a history major and person who teaches all about this great nation of ours, I cannot even begin to describe what it felt like to see the actual Declaration of Independence that was penned by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. It is extremely faded but you can still just make out some of the words and signatures. Each and every one of the men who sign the declaration were committing the ultimate act of treason by signing it but they didn’t care. They were willing to give up their lives if it meant gaining our freedom. BAH…sorry. There’s the history nerd in me coming out true and blue.
Seeing the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights was just as amazing. I was even able to give to this older lady a mini history lesson. She was looking at the Bill of Rights and quietly asked her daughter, “So the Bill of Rights came before the Declaration of Independence right?” I seriously thought I was back in my 8th grade classroom. So I couldn’t help myself, I had to interject and explain very nicely that we wouldn’t be able to come up with laws without declaring independence first. She laughed and said, “Oh yes, of course.”
Oh and don’t let National Treasure fool you. The room that holds said three documents is dark and you can barely see a thing. And they only let a large group of about 40-50 into the space at a time so you can’t just walk in and out as you please. Geez the movies are such liars!
After the National Archives we made our way over to the National Mall. We wandered through the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. Each and everyone of them was so amazing. I think my favorite was the World War II Memorial but what I loved most was how different each of the memorials were.
At at this point I’m just gonna let the pictures speak for themselves! 🙂 Enjoy!
Korean War Memorial – The Memorial was first commissioned in 1986 and wasn’t completed until 1992.
I love that you can see the facial expressions of the men in the statues. They look so life like and have so much emotion etched in their faces.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to walk directly next to the Reflecting Pool. There were fences already set up in preparation of the July 4th festivities. (Which ended up being canceled due to weather!) So I was not able to recreate the famous Jenny scene from Forrest Gump.
After this was taken, my brother and I walked up to the Lincoln Memorial and my parents headed to the Vietnam Memorial. My Dad’s knees were not about to climb all those stairs!
These three men are the first part of the Vietnam War Memorial. Their bodies are positioned to they are looking towards the main memorial wall where the names of all the men who lost their lives in the war are chronologically etched into the walls.
But I’m an idiot and totally forgot to take a picture of the whole wall! So you’ll have to deal live with these.
My brother took this picture and you can tell. My mom and I are out of focus and the background is in focus.
After the Vietnam Memorial we decided it was time for a little break. And I know we went to lunch somewhere but for the life of me I cannot remember where it was. I’ve been racking my brain for a while now trying to remember and I have no clue.
So I’ll just move one. That evening we headed to enjoy America’s Pastime. We went out and supported the National’s baseball team. Baseball is one of my favorite sports so I’m so glad we got to attend a game while we were there. We were worried that the game was gonna get rained out but we got lucky and we only had a slight delay.
I love going to sporting events with my family. When we were kids my parents took my brother and I to all kinds of games. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and even golf! So it was so much fun getting to go to a game with them again.
And it was a fantastic way to end our third day!
Recapping has been so fun! Make sure to come back next week because I’m sharing all about The White House!