Not that I have anything against the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial but the D.C. area's lonely tributes are the ones I love the most. My heart goes out to them because they stand for so much yet receive so little.
I couldn't help but feel pangs of sadness every time I walked or rode my bike past the D.C. War Memorial that honors District residents who gave their lives during World War I. While the World War II Memorial basks in perfectly appropriate adulation within but a few minutes walk, the D.C. War Memorial sits there wondering if anyone will pay it a visit. Will people remember the fallen or what they died for?
I knew I had to write about the site the moment I read that Uncle Sam was stepping in to give the D.C. War Memorial some badly needed restoration. My piece on the D.C. War Memorial in American Legion magazine is online now and the print version is on the way. I imagine that the spirits of the people honored there would appreciate you giving the piece a read and heading out to say hello when the work is done. The World War I Memorial Foundation would, too.
Another under-appreciated site every American should visit is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in Alexandria.
On a day in D.C. like today when the snow is pouring down and the cold is sending us all inside to our comfortable, heated homes, let's take a moment to remember all the soldiers who trekked barefoot through snow and ice during the Revolution on through those who fought in the trenches during World War I. Then let's go pay a visit to the lonely memorials honoring what they did.
Photo courtesy David DeJonge of World War I Memorial Foundation.