We've lived in the Washington D.C. area since 1990. In the eighteen years since then we've made numerous trips to our nation's capital. Every time we had guests from out of town we would do the tour guide thing and see the sights that D.C. had to offer. Our children had numerous school field trips to D.C. and hockey games, cherry blossoms and Christmas lights often drew us there.
The Washington Monument is always a highlight of our trips to Washington D.C.
It was built between 1848 and 1884 as a memorial to George Washington, first President of the United States. Its construction took place in two major phases, 1848-56, and 1876-84--the Civil War and a lack of funds causing the intermittent hiatus.
Weighing 90,854 tons, the Washington Monument stands 555' 5-1/8" tall. The walls of the monument range in thickness from 15' at the base to 18'' at the upper shaft. They are composed of white marble from Maryland and Massachusetts, underlain by granite, the whole supported by interior ironwork. A slight color change is perceptible at the 152' -level. A flight of 897 steps rises to the observation area. Inserted into the interior walls are 192 carved stones presented by individuals, societies, cities, States, and nations of the world. A 70 second elevator ride takes visitors to the top, where they can gaze over the city from the monument's windows. There are many great views once you reach the observation room. You can see the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Capitol building, and much of Washington from the windows of the room.
Okay ~ now it's time for the random memory ~ I really can't believe I'm sharing this. During one of the tour guide type trips to D.C. (it was when we took my sister and her family to see the sights) we stood in line so we could go to the top of the monument and check out the view. We waited in line quite a while ~ but we knew the view would definitely be worth the wait. We finally got to the elevators and made the 70 second trip up. I'm not sure how long we were in the observation room, but we made sure everyone had plenty of time to look out the windows and try to identify all they saw. As we were rounding up everyone for the ride down ~ I said "Wait ~ I just want to look and see if I can find the Washington Monument from up here." My family looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I had, for a moment, because I was serious! I had totally forgotten where we were. Whoa! Almost immediately I realized what I had said and tried to laugh it off. To no avail ~ it's been at least 15 years since that happened. No one has forgotten ~ nor have they allowed me to forget!