“In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” These words are engraved above the statute of the president who save the Union, Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Memorial is an enduring symbol of unity, strength and wisdom.
Exterior Features of the Lincoln Memorial
Does the memorial look familiar? It should and not just because we’ve all grown up with it. It was model after the Parthenon in Athens which graced the cover of most of our history books.
Since the memorial was to a man who defended democracy then the design should echo the birthplace of democracy. The Memorial is 190 foot long, 120 foot wide, 99 foot tall constructed of marble.
There are 58 steps on the memorial and 87 steps from the memorial to the reflecting pool. There is an elevator for those who are not up to navigating that many steps. It was working when I was there.
The steps of the Lincoln Memorial have been witness to many great events and demonstrations over the past 100 years including he “I have a Dream” speech by Dr. King. The steps start at the edge of the reflecting pool on the National Mall. They rise to a plaza that was once a road and then continue on through a series of platforms to the entrance.
The 36 Doric columns that surround the Memorial represent each of the states that existed at the time of Lincoln’s death.
Above the colonnade inscribed on the frieze are the names of 36 states and the dates in which they entered the Union. Their names are separated by double wreath medallions in bas-relief.
Inside the Lincoln Memorial
There are 3 chambers inside the memorial, north, south and central. The north and south side chambers contain the words of of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address carved into the marble. Between the north and south chambers is the central hall containing the solitary Statue of Lincoln sitting in contemplation. Look closely at Lincoln’s hands. Proponents of ASL say he is signing and that the position of his fingers form A and L.
The Views and Location on the National Mall
Standing in front of the entrance you will be looking out over the reflecting pool at the Washington Monument.
Step to the side and look again, there is the dome of the Capitol building peeking from behind the Washington Monument
One of the most well known of the monuments, the Lincoln Memorial does not fade with familiarity. It is still a beautiful memorial to our 16th President who gave all to see the new nation stayed intact.