7:56 AM

The Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; these were just a few of the landmarks that I dreamed about visiting as a kid. The bus ride from New York couldn’t have ended faster. I was ready to see all of the history and monuments of this great country.
After checking in to the hotel and changing our clothes we headed out to grab a bite to eat and start the sightseeing. We ate some delicious Thai food before catching the subway to the National Mall.
The first thing we see as we walk out on to the street is the Washington Monument in the distance. It was just as tall as I had imagined it, getting closer I was growing more amazed by the size. From the monument you could see the other monuments in the distance. After snapping a few pictures we decided to continue down towards the other landmarks.
We headed to the White House, being in the National Guard, my heart was racing to see the house of the Commander-in-Chief. We arrived and there were tons of people in the street in the front of the house. Ana and I took several photos in front of the White House and just admired the architecture of the building. In all honesty I expected the house to be a lot bigger but all in all it was a great experience to see it in person.
After all of the photos at the White House we headed to the Lincoln Memorial. I was very excited to see this, not only because of President Lincoln’s accomplishments, but because Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” speech on the very steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As we headed to the Lincoln Memorial, we passed through the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, which were both amazing sights to see.
At the foot of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, you could see the elegance of the President Lincoln’s memorial. As we get to the top of the steps the first thing I see on etched into the step is “I Have a Dream.” It was in that very spot that Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the greatest and most powerful speeches in U.S. History, a speech with a lot of meaning and power. As we walked into the memorial President Lincoln was mesmerizing, he was carved in a way to give him a look of wisdom and dedication. The moment was more impressive than I can describe, I dreamed of seeing these monuments for years and here I was.
The evening got later the mist grew thicker so we headed to a shopping area so Ana could go to H&M (It’s her thing to do every trip). Leaving there we headed to Georgetown for dinner, we ate an excellent Mexican dinner and the manager was kind enough to play my musical requests as we were one of the few customers left at that time of night. The day was simply amazing, filled with history, good food, greater company, laughter and good music.
The next morning we woke up bright and early. I was finally going to see the change of guards for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Approaching the stairs facing the tomb and the guard, the view was simply breathtaking and the silence out of respect for the ceremony was uncanny. A sergeant marched very elegantly to the center and gave very specific instructions for the change of the guards. He then commenced to give the new guard a very meticulous inspection of first the rifle and second the soldier coming to guard the tomb. When the inspection was completed, the soldiers continued a very detailed and respectful change of guard. The entire change was a complete honor to watch and made me very proud to have served in the military.
After the change of the guard was completed we were headed to the capitol and the Supreme Court, it was a cool experience because you saw these places in movies and TV shows or even animated like in Schoolhouse Rock. But being very honest I was completely distracted at these locations because I was looking forward to seeing the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. It was astonishing to see the penmanship of these men that wrote and signed these prestigious documents. There was so much history in that room, it was very cool to think that in 1776 John Hancock, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were writing on that document, not to mention the other signatures.
After such a surreal time, it was finally time to head back to New York City. I could not believe all that we saw and experienced in the amount of time that we were there. All of the landmarks that we saw left an imprint of patriotism with me, reminding me of the history that brought us to where we are now. I don’t think that we even put a dent in the things that we could have enjoyed in Washington D.C.

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