Saturday, May 24, 2014
Tropical palms in downtown Washington, DC
For over 10 years I walked past tropical palm trees in downtown Washington, DC without ever seeing them. One day I finally took notice and decided to investigate further.
United States Navy Memorial
Washington is a city bursting at the seams with memorials and monuments, many of which thousands of tourists and city residents alike walk past without a second glance. I must have walked by the United States Navy Memorial, right outside a busy Metro (subway) station I use nearly every day, for 10 years before taking a closer look. The memorial was completed and dedicated in 1987, making it relatively new when I arrived in Washington, DC in 1991. The memorial consists of a round public plaza with the world's continents (or more accurately, the world's oceans) inset in granite (aerial view). Around the plaza are fountains, and outside the fountains, facing outward, is a series of sculpted plaques depicting events in U.S. naval history.
Navy Memorial plaques
A few years ago I finally took a close look at these plaques. Although it was the palms depicted in several of them that originally caught my interest, I found all of them to be incredibly detailed and fascinating. Below are some of the plaques including palm trees but they are all worth a look. (To see the full series of plaques, visit my album here.)
"Naval Special Warfare"
"Inland Naval Engagements"
"Naval Construction Battalions"
The memorial is watched over, day and night, by the Lone Sailor.
So the next time you visit Washington, DC be sure to take the time to look at some of the memorials you might otherwise walk past. While I'm at it, I'll put in a plug for the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. This little-known museum is in the Navy Yard in southwest DC and when we visited with my sister and brother-in-law last year, we were practically the only people there. This is one of the city's smaller museums and isn't quite as overwhelming as some of them! It's well worth visit by anybody with an interest in maritime history, the U.S. Navy or the U.S. military in general.
This blog post is dedicated to all the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces, but especially my father, Martin E. Boggan, who served in the U.S. Air Force, and my late uncles, Nicholas Delledera, who also served in the U.S. Air Force, and Joseph Delledera, who served in the U.S. Navy.