The Washington Monument reopened last week with great fanfare and even greater lines.
If you recall, it closed three years ago because of a freakish 5.8 magnitude earthquake, which struck the Washington, D.C., area. If that isn’t proof of global warming, I don’t know what is.
The earthquake caused cracks in the walls of the obelisk, necessitating shutting it down to the public, numerous inspections, a costly repair job and lots of disappointed visitors to the nation’s capital.
Reportedly they hired a company specializing in making such repairs on monuments made from stone. They were experts in lifting monuments with fissures in them, happened to be dyslexic and were called jacker-cracks.
The monument itself is 555 feet tall, which is an easy number to remember if you can count fingers on your hand or toes on your foot and like things in threes. It was dedicated to and named after one of the former presidents whose name escapes me at the moment.
Admission is free as long as you pay the $1.50 service charge. So why don’t they just say admission is $1.50? Because free always sounds better, even if it isn’t. Like health care.
When it was built the Washington Monument was the tallest monument in the world. It held that distinction until the French built the Eiffel Tower. However, the French cheated and made their tower out of steel, which was easier to erect than stacking marble blocks on top of each other, so I’m not very impressed. And despite the Eiffel tower’s impressive height, you can’t even see the Washington Monument from the top.
Tourists come from all over to take the journey up inside. You can either climb the 897 steps to the top or be much smarter and take the elevator. From the top you have a magnificent view of the surrounding D.C. area and can even see a square-looking building, the Pentagon, after which they modeled home plate in baseball.
However, some tourists are a bit underwhelmed by the monument and many are saying that because of the damage it endured, it has lost some of its luster. Despite the fancy repair job, many of the tiny hairline fissures caused by the tremor are in fact still visible. I guess you can say it’s not all what it’s “cracked” up to be.