Lincoln Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

free essayThere are many personalities in the American history that were radical in fighting for the rights of the black Americans. However, one of them was like Abraham Lincoln. He not only shaped the politics of the time but also fought all odds to becoming the president in the United States of America. His biography is inspiring by having a purposeful life. This is what led to leaders of the previous centuries to not only remember him in books, but also to construct a sculpture in the Lincoln Memorial Center.

The United States had different presidents over its lengthy history and not all of them had the honor of being remembered in monuments. The Lincoln Memorial is privileged to having such an honor. It is a remembrance of the sixteenth American president, Abrahams Lincoln, who fought for the ordinary citizens of the United States, their equal rights regardless of their ethnic origins as well as reconciliation of the political and the religious thoughts of the people he later came to lead (Samuels 40). Therefore, the foundation of the memorial for such an outstanding person was a question of time.

The Lincoln Memorial is a cultural center in the United States, situated in Washington, DC, the capital of the USA. The Washington DC, formally known as the District of Columbia, occupies an area of 63.3 square miles and is located on latitude of 38.890 North and on longitude 77.030 West. It is located in the Eastern Standard Time zone (UTC-5). The majority of the population professes the Christian faith of the catholic denomination. The most common language used for communication is English. The National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, and Madame Tussauds are the other world-known museums found in Washington City. . Washington, DC is a seat for some of the universities of the United States, the major of which are, The George Washington University, National Defense University, and Howard University. Washington DC was declared as the capital on July 16, 1790. Pilgrims all over the world come to fulfill their curiosity of the man, called Lincoln, the one who changed the American history. The location provides an excellent view of the entire city.

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The Lincoln Memorial is easily accessible by metro and by bus for individuals without private means of transport. Those who have an opportunity to reach the monument by car can easily find the place. One more note for the travelers, the nearest airports are Washington Dulles and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which offer their services throughout most parts of the world.

The initial design of the Lincoln Memorial was aimed to provide a location, where visitors could go and experience the relevance of a person who fought for the rights of the African American people, saving emancipated slaves and defending the United States democracy (Bergman 117). The main reason of the construction of the Lincoln Memorial was not only to enable people to come and reflect on the history of the United States, but also to appreciate the price paid for democracy and human rights during the period of the influence of Abraham Lincoln (Bergman 122). Different works of art declare different messages. The Lincoln Memorial is both an architectural and an art piece of work. Its design marvels people who visit this masterpiece, which has borrowed the ideas from different cultures around the world. Its message is an aesthesia to the soul, to those who come to the site. It receives a lot of visitors throughout the year because its significance to the American history cannot be underestimated and everyone wants to see this history.

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The construction of the Lincoln Memorial reflects a person of whom Lincoln was, what he stood for, the philosophies he believed in and the role he played in the United States history (Bergman 122). Lincoln served as the sixteenth president of the United States and the fourth president with black origin. His life mission was captured in two of the speeches that he ever made during his time, thus, enabling generations that came after him to understand the past and get to know about his ideals.

Before the construction of the Lincoln Memorial, there was a suggestion to construct a great highway instead that would run from Washington to Gettysburg, and to call is ‘The Lincoln Way’ (Sacher 25). Such an idea was justified by the fact that the territory of the offered highway, as it is today, has many mountains and fountains that could serve as the adventure and a historic road way that would remind people of the iconic personality of Abraham Lincoln and his actions. The highway was named after Lincoln as well as the construction of the monument.

A V-shaped granite wall lies next to the Lincoln memorial appearing from the ground as a slash oriented towards the monument (Poulin 194). The Lincoln memorial is located in such a momentous site that it attracts all the architectural designs next to it. Over the years, the Lincoln Memorial has benefitted from several upgrades and reconstructions from the state; nonetheless, the initial design still stands as it was envisioned to be. The design always helps people to know what was borrowed from other cultures and civilizations. Structures, such as buildings and monuments, always tend to suffer from environmental hazards, such as rain. When rain falls, it always wets our lands and makes our crops grown however, when acid rain falls, it always destructions plants and buildings. This is the reason why many monuments require reconstructions from time to time (Venhaus 70).

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People are social beings. They interact with people from different cultures. During such interactions, people borrow something new and at the same time they share their knowledge and experience. All the time, people travelled around the world to get inspiration from different countries and to learn art of other cultures. The elements of Lincoln Monument, for instance, were also borrowed from the Greek and Roman cultures (Perdew 21). There are many factors that make this monument attractive. Some of the reasons may include the historical personality itself, the rich history of the person and what the person has done. The architecture is also among these reasons. That is why the Lincoln monument gets so much traffic.

Many parks in the United States are largely influenced by the fact that people relate with them. Usually, the development of the parts and other historical monuments is associated with the specific events in the history that they wish the next generation to remember. This fact, hence, has influenced the location of many parks and monuments, and the Lincoln Memorial is not an exception in this case. The site, where the present Lincoln Memorial lies, was largely influenced by an amount of visions as it was not readily accepted and was criticized (Pederson & Michael 131).

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Abraham Lincoln was not an ordinary statesman of the United States, due to personal power and work he became a president later. His oratory prowess is one of the many things people remember about him. The most memorable and influential speeches of Lincoln are the Gettysburg Address and the second inaugural speech (Pederson & Michael 135). These speeches are written on the memorial. One more specific signs of the incredibility of the monument is the fact that others borrow some ideas from the particular piece.  Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission, Pedersen and Tinley borrowed the idea of having speeches on the monuments as in the case with the Lincoln Memorial (Pederson & Michael 135).

Historical sites are normally surrounded by other sites that are equally significant. The Holocaust memorial is located close to the Lincoln Memorial, giving it recognition significance (Pederson & Michael 145). The probable reason as to why the Holocaust Memorial is located next to the Lincoln Memorial is to show the remorse of the Christians for having slaughtered the Jews and the fact that Lincoln fought for rights for all people regardless of which affiliations they held.

Usually, historical sites are supported with other social amenities. Such the conclusion is explained by the fact that the people may want not only to view the historical sites, but also to be served. People may need a gas station, a bank and/or a food store to buy meals while going sightseeing. When people visit places, they want to quench their curiosity of the place, have new experiences, and get to know personal history or culture. This is the case with the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Sanitarium, the Municipal building, Lancer Courthouse and the Lincoln city library are the surrounding social amenities (Federal Writers’ Project 179).

Cities grew on the basis of the interactions in the past times. Some of these interactions were business relations. Since the cities have been developed to business purposes, they needed a proper palling and landscaping because cities have fewer options for modification as the land is meant for the development by the already existing structures (Yokohari 77). Landscaping of Washington DC, where the Lincoln memorial is found was one of the most thought designs of all time. This is because the many buildings that stand today are a result of the great planners who constructed the future, and the current present.

The construction of any national memorial site needs a lot of planning due to many stakeholders involved for the outcome to be successful and to avoid future problems that may be associated with bad planning. This was the case with the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln commission with the acceptance from the congress Architect Henry Bacon was hired to design the monument on February 1, 1913, while Daniel Chester was hired to create the statue and the pedestal. The memorial was officially opened to the public on the 21st of June, 1921 (Bergman 124). About ten years passed since the time when the design was accepted till the final opening of the memorial. During the construction work, the consistent monitoring took place to ensure that the memorial lived up to its intended standards.

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The Lincoln memorial has four evident features, the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural Aggress, the Lincoln statue, and Jules Guerin’s allegorical murals depicting the antislavery of the black people (Bergman 125). The Gettysburg Address was a result of a conflict that saw more than fifty one thousand people dead at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July 1863 (Peatman 7). The speech captured a number of inhumane acts that were perpetrated against the black people in the United States at the time. It meant to fight for the injustices at the time, to remind the black Americans that hope was not lost and that they would triumph against all odds. This is why the, Gettysburg Address was mounted on the monument as a remembrance as well as an act of a reminder against discrimination.

The second Inaugural Speech addressed to the nation by Abraham Lincoln had an emphasis on hard work and integrity as he suggested punishment on law breakers (Miller 79). This is another ideal that Lincoln stood for. As being a leader in the church, he learnt that hard work and punishment were the rewards for human behavior. The second speech was longer than the Gettysburg address as this was his inauguration into the office of the presidency for the second time. The Lincoln statue was a reason that led to the creation of the Lincoln memorial as is so known today. The statue is the image of Abraham Lincoln with an outreached arm (Samuels 40). The statue is a creative work depicting Lincoln as an emancipator of all time. The statue is a remembrance of Abraham Lincoln, the person who he was. The statue is an erect nineteen feet monument, which led to the construction of the memorial.

The Lincoln monument is not complete without the mural by Jules Guerin. The Mural is located at the top of the interior wall, above the Gettysburg Address and the second Inaugural Speech (Bergman 127). The excellent murals on the wall of the monument are the pieces of art that celebrate and appreciate the works of Jules Guerin (Malone 47). This is an important aspect of the United States philosophy of appreciating talent and making a fortune out of it. The United States hold a philosophy of learners identifying their strong areas and their preferences of professions early in life. This is never limited to classwork only but also uses the talents in art and sports.

A basement is another physical feature that the Lincoln Memorial has. Basements are particularly important in the malls as they serve as parking spaces for visitors. This is the case with the Lincoln memorial. The basement of the Lincoln Memorial was initially empty. However, in 1900, exhibits were put there, which still exist to the current date (Bergman 133). These exhibits are the works of the artists that were contemporaries with Abraham Lincoln. The exhibits make the memorial a place where one can not only learn of Abraham Lincoln, but also of the people who lived during his time and to get acquainted with their works. The basement contains the ‘The Lincoln Living Legacy’ which airs Lincoln’s legacy exhibits, photographs and captions that run for about eight minutes (Bergman 134).

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The surrounding counties of Washington DC, where the Lincoln monument is located, are Charles, Montgomery and Prince George counties (DiLisio 281). The surrounding counties do not exist in isolation without borrowing from the capital. Infrastructure and landscaping is borrowed from Washington Dc, the state’s capitol. A city only exists if there are other cities, which surround it a particular country. When the city cannot accommodate any more, the neighboring counties offer an alternative for jobs and places where people from the countryside come to stay. The many scholars who have delved in the writing of the great works of the Lincoln Memorial also did not forget to discuss against other memorial sites that are next to the Lincoln memorial. One of the places under such a criticism is the site where the construction of the National World War and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located. It is claimed that the site hinders locating the Lincoln Memorial (Hass 188).

Some of the scholars who have written against other memorial sites in regard to the Lincoln memorial claim that the part of the land that was meant for the Lincoln Memorial was taken by other sites, such as the Vietnam Veterans and the National World War memorial (Hass 188). These allegations, however, are not true as the other memorial sites, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the National World War, serve to increase the popularity of the Lincoln Memorial site (Benton-Short 142). Of all the memorial sites located in Washington DC, the Lincoln Memorial is the most attractive among of the others. This is evident by the traffic flow to the memorial. Also, it is a site, which represents the national leader, one of the most famous people in the USA. This is particularly true of the former United States president, Barrack Obama, who used the site to address people during his campaigns. It is because Barrack Obama was an African American who also fought against all odds to become the first African-American president of the United States. Using some remarks and references to Lincoln, Obama wanted to look like him, holding the same philosophy of service to humanity, but most importantly, uniting the American people. Therefore, the memorial also serves as the inspiration for other people, provoking them for action.

In conclusion, the Lincoln Memorial has been the one of the best architectural and art works that have ever been experienced in the history of America. The location, Washington DC, speaks about the volume of the memorial, as it is the capital of the United States. The honor given to this man, Abraham Lincoln, is of no measure among the many United States Presidents, he is among those honored through a monumental mall. The surrounding memorials also serve to communicate this message of a people having undergone a great transformation. The location, making it possible to view the entire city of Washington, is the best place to reminiscing the past and having a taste of the America’s rich history.