The Washington Monument As a Reflection of the Nation

The most striking visual symbol of the nation’s capital is the Washington Monument–dedicated in 1885, it then was the world’s tallest building and with DC’s height limit on buildings it continues to dominate the city’s skyline.

The cover of this month’s Washingtonian magazine features a young boy leaping over the mall’s reflecting pool, with the monument in the background, to say “We Will Get Through This.” It perfectly captured the mood of the nation’s capital today.

How Walt Whitman captured it in the closing lines of 1885 poem “Washington Monument”:

Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land,
or day or night,
Through teeming cities’ streets, indoors or out,
factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills
existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois’d by Toleration, sway’d
by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.


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