Except for a quick visit to the Library of Congress archives three years ago, I had not been in the capital or capitol since a junior high school trip.
The first thing that struck me is the presence of the flag at half staff: unlike NYC, flags are omnipresent, and the constant visual reminder of the national deaths is very poignant.
Our national monuments are impressive, as they need to be to help with the nation building behind E Pluribus Unum. I enjoyed a nighttime bike tour to see their illuminated state, and then returned to see them during the day. That's when they come to life with thousands of visitors: particularly moving are the number of Asian visitors at the Vietnam Memorial, and the elderly veterans in wheelchairs with comrades and friends at the WWII memorial.
Here's my Tumblr-homage to the monuments of the District of Columbia.
Union Station; Jefferson; FDR with Eleanor; MLK; Lincoln; Korea; Vietnam; WWII; Washington; Memorial to the Japanese-American Patriotism in WWII, colloquially known as the Internment Memorial. The names of 10 internment camps are on one side, with the numbers of how many Japanese American were held. My guide said that as the war progressed and the army needed more fighters, men in the camps were conscripted. The names of the men from the camps who died in combat are listed in the bottom picture.