Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where to Visit: Iwo Jima Memorial at Night

I'm one of those people who loves history. It's one of the five hundred billion reasons why I love living in the District. In fact, want to know the extent of my dorkiness? I may or may not have recently planned a date with a guy to spent an entire Saturday afternoon searching for Mason clues in and around D.C. Yup, I know. Me = huge nerd.

That said, you all get to benefit from my nerdy behavior.

How? Read on...

This past Sunday, I was driving home from watching football on Capitol Hill when I realized that I always subconsciously take the long way home to Georgetown from the Hill because it allows me to drive by the monuments lit up at night. As I turned off Constitution Avenue to drive past the Washington Monument, I realized it's been a while since I've visited one of my favorite spots -- the Iwo Jima Memorial. I had no reason to race home, so I headed out to Arlington.

I first discovered the greatness of Iwo Jima at night about two years ago when my aunt was visiting. Why is it cool at night? Because it turns into this incredibly patriotic optical illusion.

There's a circular road that runs around the perimeter of the memorial. When you first pull onto the road, the memorial looks like it does in the photo to the right--- the American soldiers struggling to raise the flag. But the memorial's appearance gradually changes as you slowly drive around appearing as if the soldiers are slowly raising the flag. By the time you are 3/4 of the way around, it looks as though the flag has been completely raised to stand straight up. It's pretty powerful, and I always get chills.

This is one of my go-to places to take family and friends who come to visit, and although I've done the drive at least half a dozen times, it still fills me with a huge sense of pride for our country and our soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

I encourage all of you to check it out some night. It will make you proud to be an American and will add yet another reason why we're fortunate to live in our nation's beautiful capital city.

P.S. Speaking of patriotism, don't forget to get out and vote today!


  1. How did you set up the date looking for Mason clues? My bf is becoming a Mason and would love that!

  2. Melissa- sadly, in true Appealing Kate fashion I decided to drink too many martinis on an empty stomach the night before and had to cancel the date. BUT I found a number of great websites that provide self guided tours just by searching google. Goodluck and let me know how it goes!

  3. Have you ever done a night tour of the monmuments on the mall?