Touring Washington D.C.’s treasured monuments

In honor of Memorial Day, Kids Place Live took a stroll around our nation’s Capital exploring the treasured monuments and memorials. With the help of a National Park Ranger, Kenny Curtis and Mindy Thomas explored the history and significance of some of Washington, D.C.’s most historic landmarks.

Kenny Curtis, Park Ranger Jen Epstein, and Mindy Thomas

Curtis learned pretty quickly not to refer to the Washington Monument as the big pencil. In fact, according to Park Ranger Jen Epstein, if you are to describe the monument’s unique shape, you should refer to it as its official name: obelisk. It’s essentially a fancy term referring to the fact that its height is 10x the side of its base.

From the Washington Monument, Curtis and Thomas moved to visit the war memorials, something that feels especially appropriate for Memorial Day. Epstein explained how the Korean War Memorial was built.

“Veterans came together to build this [Korean War] Memorial so that this time period would also be remembered and these soldiers who fought would not be forgotten,” Park Ranger Jen Epstein shared. “The war memorials were all products of donations and groups that worked together to get them built.”


vietnam memorial

The first real “modern” memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial was designed as a result of a competition. The artist was a college student who submitted her idea as part of a school project. The memorial is unique since the names begin and end in the center of the long wall. Another unique attribute to the memorial is that many people still have memories and connections to those who fought in the war and lost their lives.

“You also have people who leave their photographs of their family members or a medal that somebody had earned, all of this stuff, aside from the flowers, gets collected and stored in a museum facility to remember. And that’s kind of unique to this memorial,” Epstein described.

Monumental Memorials Day airs on Friday, May 27 at 10:00 pm ET on Kids Place Live (Ch. 78)

Rebroadcast:  May 28 9:00 am ET and 5:00 pm ET, May 29 12:00 pm ET, May 30 3:00 pm ET

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