Friday, November 9, 2012

Virtual Capitol Tour

Fall at the Capitol
Fall at the Capitol
As I may have mentioned before, I love the Capitol Building. The history, the architecture, the stories- the more I learn the more I love it. What is sad though, is that when people visit DC and realize that they have planned far too much than they can actually do, the Capitol is one of the first things they strike from their to do list, which is horrible!! I love the museums and galleries and restaurants and all of that but the Capitol is by far my favorite. You can see many different cool things and learn a lot in the Smithsonian museums, the Newseum, or the Spy Museum (all of which are wonderful!), but you cannot stand in the very footsteps of history in those places like you can at the Capitol. 

I think part of the reason people skip the Capitol tours is because they see the outside of the building and the dome and think that's pretty much all there is to it. They do not realize that there is so much more to it than just the outside. The inside is equally as beautiful if not more beautiful than the outside. 

The second reason I think people do not take a Capitol tour is because most people think about politics and think one of two things: divisive or boring. I'm not going to lie, politics can be both. However, the Capitol is so much more than just politics. It is the history of our country. I realize that most people also think history is boring, but this is not your typical school textbook history. Like I said above, this is standing in the footsteps of history. 

It is standing in the beautiful Capitol Rotunda where wounded Civil War soldiers were treated and died, where our country's heros are laid in State so that a grateful nation may pay their respects. It is where courageous people are honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. 

US Capitol Rotunda

It is seeing the plaque that marks the spot of the cornerstone laid by George Washington. 

It is about standing on the star in the middle of the Crypt, the original center of the DC grid system and learning how George and Martha Washington were supposed to be buried here but because of his great foresight and the burden he carried for this great country, he chose to be buried at Mount Vernon because he did not want to appear that he, nor any other president or single person, was the center of the government but that it is a government of the people. 

Capitol Crypt

It is where you can stand where Abraham Lincoln's desk was in the old House Chamber. It is where you can stand where John Quincy Adam's desk was and learn how he could hear the plans of the opposing party before getting up to debate. 

The Capitol, in all of its grand beauty, is the place where the geographic discovery of America and the democratic founding of America is remembered and celebrated and where history continues to be written everyday. It's a big deal, don't miss it.

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