Our first stop was in the morning at the African-American Civil War Memorial. It is not very large and is located in a part of the city I suspect many tourists miss altogether. The part of these war memorials I always find stirring is the list of names. So many of the soldiers had names with a sense of historical importance that I wonder if their parents, feeling the full burden and weight of slavery, chose names that would instill hope and inspire the courage to fight for freedom. If I were born into bondage and given the name George Washington Shaw or Thomas Jefferson Brown would I grow up believing I was destined for something far greater?
And of course, I could not stop shooting photos.
I did not allow myself time to talk to the ranger about the architect's intent for the design, and a quick check on nps.gov yielded only that the numerous waterfalls point toward his time in the navy and love of nature, which ran deep in the Roosevelt blood. Also, it helps dampen the noise from Reagan International Airport.