Monday, April 9, 2012

24 Hours in DC - continued

This morning helicopters are continuing to fly everywhere – quite a busy city today.  It is gorgeous out and the cherry blossoms are not quite ready but the earlier budding magnolias provide a nice backdrop.   I walk down the Mall to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial – it is perfectly positioned on the Tidal Pool across from the Jefferson Memorial (my personal favorite).  This is my first time at the new MLK memorial, completed in the fall of 2011.    I love how each of the different DC memorials exhibit a different tone and theme and style.  The reviews of the new MLK memorial suggest that the large King statue carved into stone is almost Stalin looking.  I have to agree.
King’s famous “I have a dream” speech was delivered right across the road at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.   I get goose bumps whenever I hear this speech and especially when I watch the video.  It is one of the most moving and poignant pieces of oratory I have ever heard.  I was going to include a link to the video here.   I remember the speech being commonly available in the public domain in the past but apparently no more.  The King estate sued CBS in 1996 claiming copyright protection and the case was settled for an undisclosed sum of money.  Now the video of the speech is only legally available through the estate’s website for a fee and it will remain under copyright protection until 2038 - 70 years after King’s death.  Quite a controversy…

This is a beautiful city in the spring and these few days are bringing back memories of some of my most favorite things to do when we lived in this area years ago:  
  • biking - the best bike paths ever.  You can travel off road all the way from Mount Vernon, Va. (President George Washington’s home), through Old Town Alexandria, past Reagan airport (stopping to sit for a bit and watch the planes land right over your head at the end of the runway) on through Georgetown  (stopping for a margarita at Washington Harbor) and on as far as you want all the way to Harper’s Ferry and beyond, along the C&O Towpath.  
  • renting a paddle boat on the Tidal Basin
  • visiting the monuments at night.   

1 comment: