Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Walls Around the Monuments

I left the office, checked in at the hotel, and set off to make my pilgrimage to President Lincoln.  I had it in mind to try to see something that I hadn't seen before.  That didn't work.  It was a rather gray day and the first thing I saw is that the sun was shining on nothing but the Capitol:

It is my understanding that everyone has gone home until after the election.  Whatever.  So I turned around and kept walking. 

These days, whenever I approach the Washington Monument, I am irritated.  You wouldn't know it if you hadn't been here before 9/11, but there are several new pathways and short walls and cement barriers so one is obliged to walk halfway around the globe to get to the other end of the Mall:

Back in my day, we hiked up the hill to those flags and over the top.  You could touch the Monument as you went by without feeling like a criminal.  To be fair, there isn't exactly anyone there telling the tourists to go around, (in fact, you can see a little kid playing there in the middleand the horse carrying the park ranger seemed to be there for the children to pet) but it is clearly discouraging.  So I walked around.

As these paths and barriers were going up, I worried about this one tree.  It seems rather out of place, which is why I always liked it. 

I have taken several good naps under this tree, but don't tell my mother.  Anyway, I was afraid that someone would cut it down to make the world safer for democracy.  But it seems to have survived. 

Then I went back to my regularly scheduled pilgrimage.

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