America’s Greatest Monuments: Washington, D.C. (DVD Review)14 Sep, 2008 By: John Latchem
$24.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Washington, D.C., is home to 156 monuments and memorials that commemorate fallen soldiers, historical events, national heroes and international figures. This terrific hourlong program guides viewers through the origins of some of these iconic locations and what went into designing and building them.
Obviously there’s not enough time to cover everything, but the show hits upon the major monuments and provides a good introduction to some of the newer ones. Recent additions to the Washington Mall include the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and the World War II Memorial, both of which generated some controversy about their location and design elements.
America’s Greatest Monuments also features some awesome bits of trivia about the legendary landmarks of our nation’s capital.
For example, the stairwell of the Washington Monument is lined with dedication stones from various states and organizations, including a stone from the Vatican. But when the monument was being built in the 19th century, the original Pope stone was stolen by a group that opposed foreign influence on America.
The Jefferson Memorial, built during WWII, originally featured a plaster statue painted to resemble bronze, which was on short supply because of the war effort. The current bronze statue was installed in 1947.
Turning to one of the more-iconic shrines, the show traces how the Lincoln Memorial transformed from a symbol of national unity into a symbol of civil rights.
This fascinating glimpse into Washington, D.C., also profiles the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. It’s essential viewing for history buffs, and also a handy guide for anyone preparing a trip to the capital.