The exterior of the Lincoln Memorial, built to honor the memory of Abraham Lincoln, in Washington, DC.
During our July 2023 visit to Washington, I wanted to be sure to see the Lincoln Memorial. I have long admired our 16th President. His way of thinking, his sense of humor, and his compassion are always admirable to me. Perhaps you remember how we found a Lincoln site in Tolono, Illinois, or our visit to one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate sites. That made the Lincoln Memorial a “must see” stop during our visit to Washington, as I am certain it is for so many people.
As we approached the Lincoln Memorial, we could see that some work was being done on the exterior. Although I was initially concerned that we would not be able to go inside, We could see people going in the closer we got.
“In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” So reads the inscription on the wall above the large sculpture of Abraham Lincoln. The statue is 19 feet tall, which is fitting for a larger-than-life man such as Lincoln.
In statue form, Abraham Lincoln appears to be solemn and reflecting as he looks through the columns and out over the nation’s capital.
During our visit, the statue was surrounded by people, as you would expect. But the statue’s size makes it possible to get photos without people in the photo, such as you see here. As with all of the memorials and monuments that we visited, everyone was respectful and mostly quiet, fittingly honoring the memory of those who have gone before us.
The statue of Abraham Lincoln is flanked by engravings of two of Lincoln’s most famous speeches. The first, pictured here, is the Gettysburg Address, given on November 19, 1863. You can read the text of the Gettysburg address here, if you cannot read it in the photo above.
The other speech included in the memorial is the Second Inaugural Address, given by Lincoln on March 4, 1865. It contains many famous lines, the most famous of which is near the end:
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
You can read the full text of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address at this site.
On the Steps
As you exit the Lincoln Memorial, you are greeted at the top of the steps by a view of the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument. The view quite an amazing one, and it becomes very obvious why that site has been used for some important speeches in our history.
Meanwhile, on ground level down below, you might see people taking a photo like this, which we did, because that is us.
Inside the Lincoln Memorial, off in a corner, there is a small bookstore. We went in, partly to check out the books, and partly to get out of the heat. However, there was no air conditioning inside the bookstore, so we only accomplished one of our goals.
I have read many books about Abraham Lincoln. The more pages a book has, the better it is for me, too. While we were in the bookstore, Laura said, “Do they have any books that you have not read?” I said, “Oh yes, lots.” So it looks like I have some more reading to do. At least when I am not reading about Theodore Roosevelt, one of my other favorite subjects.
Some people prefer science fiction, some prefer romance, some prefer humor. I prefer to read about people who have gone before us, especially those who have done something great. Yes, those people have their flaws just as we do. But we can still learn from them and incorporate their best practices into our lives as well. History is very beneficial for those who can learn from it, after all.
Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. - 3 John 11
About the Photos
As with sunsets at the beach in Hawaiʻi, I took lots more photos than I have included in this post. So you just might see more of them later on. The statue is so interesting and complex that one or two photos just do not do it justice.
Plus, I probably spent more time than I should have on the first photo, because I wanted it to look just right, even though I considered the photos of the statue to be the main focus of the post. But in some ways every photo is important. Otherwise, I would not have included them.
Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens
Date: July 27, 2023
Location: Washington, DC