The Lincoln Memorial and Its Importance on this Day in History

View from the Lincoln Memorial toward the Washington Monument on August 28, 1963.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
View from the Lincoln Memorial toward the Washington Monument on August 28, 1963. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Today is a special day.  It’s one that represents a turning point in the culture of the United States (US).  A day that saw people from all races, walks of life, and backgrounds joining together to come against the inequality that had been the norm in the country since its very founding.  Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which culminated in the famous “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Washington, DC is one of my favorite daytrip locations to visit.  There is so much history and so many things to see that you could literally travel there at least once a year for your entire life and always find at least one “new” thing (museum piece, restaurant, monument, etc.).  Out of all of the amazing sites in the city, there is one that is my absolute favorite due to its importance: the Lincoln Memorial.

From the moment you begin to make your way up to the memorial you really get a feeling for not only its importance, but also its grand scale.  This is a memorial to a president who, time after time, has been considered one of the greatest presidents in US history.  This memorial stands as a testament not only to Abraham Lincoln, but to the ideals that he fought for as president: equality and freedom.  This memorial is one that speaks volumes to anyone who visits it, no matter who you are.

My wife will tell you that my favorite spot at the memorial is not in the enclosed area in front of the amazing statue of Abraham Lincoln, which is awe-inspiring in itself.  My favorite spot is the very location where Dr. King stood to make his speech on August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington.  To stand on that spot is to stand in the footsteps of history.  I have stood there and looked out over the reflecting pool toward the Washington Monument.  It’s amazing to think about the huge numbers of people who packed that vast area during that event.  They stood there to not only hear the speakers, which would have been an amazing experience in itself, but to take a stand.  They took a stand for themselves and for future generations.  They made clear that equality was not only a suggestion, but a requirement for citizens.

The Lincoln Memorial is an amazing location and one that should not be missed when you have the opportunity to travel to Washington.  When you visit, find that spot where Dr. King stood and take a moment to think about how important that moment was.  Think about those who stood in the crowd on that day listening to the words of Dr. King as he spoke about his “dreams” for future generations.

Isn’t it amazing how a single location can have such importance in the history of an entire nation and its citizens?  That’s one of the great things about travel.  Travel gives you the opportunity to not only read about history, but to see where it actually happened.  That’s one reason why travel is such a wonderful gift.

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