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NEWS | June 8, 2011

Make it a monumental weekend

By Senior Airman Torey Griffith 11th Wing Public Affairs

Unlike some military installations that are hours from the nearest metropolitan area, Joint Base Andrews is only a short drive or Metro ride from some of the most iconic tourist attractions, historic sites, best cuisine, and fun nightlife spots the region has to offer.

Whether traveling alone, with friends or family, there are a host of things that Team Andrews members have the unique opportunity to enjoy.

A trip to the National Mall is an easy way to see some of the best-known sites in D.C.. (Warning: some family members may become hostile when they realize the "mall" you are taking them to lacks escalators and a food court.)

The Washington Monument, a 555-foot tall marble tribute to the nation's first president, is located at 1 Harry S. Truman Dr., in D.C., and was constructed in 1884. There are free elevator rides to the top throughout the day.

Follow the sidewalk west to the National World War II Memorial. The memorial includes a pair of 43-foot tall arches to the north and south, representing the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of battle, surrounded by 56 pillars representing the U.S. States, territories and D.C. at the time of the war. The breath-taking fountains in the center and home-state pillars make great photo opportunities.

Continuing westward to the end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most beautiful sites in D.C. Although you can't sit on the 19-foot high Honest Abe's lap and contemplate your life like in the movies, make sure you take time to read the words of the Gettysburg Address etched into the inside wall for an introspective look into the attitude of one of the greatest men to ever live.

On your way northeast to view The White House, via sidewalk, make sure to take in the Vietnam Memorial which has the names of the fallen servicemembers engraved into its mirror-clean surface. Large books at each end of the memorial contain the panel and line number of every name listed in alphabetical order.

While not grouped with the monuments at the National Mall, the White House is only a few blocks northeast, and is quite a sight to behold. Walk back east a few blocks and you're back where you began at the Washington Monument.

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