The National Mall is a National Disgrace.

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natl_mallWe visited Washington D.C. for the first time this summer. It was exciting to visit all the places I had seen on television.

The White House, National Cathedral, WW II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, National Archives, the Watergate Complex… the list goes on and on (by the way… 4 days isn’t long enough to visit Washington… you need about 87 to see everything).

I have decided to leave Ford’s Theater out of the discussion because I’m still trying to get the whole Hard Rock Café fiasco out of my head.

These places are so common to me because I have seen them a thousand times on the news, in history books, and even in movies.

Before I stepped foot in Washington, I had a picture in my mind of what things would look like.

Everything would be perfect.

With all the visitors that come to Washington, the monuments and memorials in our nation’s capital would be in the best possible shape.

I figured the government must pour millions of dollars into their upkeep.

I was wrong.

Everything wasn’t perfect. And it retrospect it couldn’t be.

The pictures I had seen over the years were taken to put everything in the best light (so to speak).

The buildings came the closest to being what I imagined. The National Cemetery in Arlington and the National Cathedral were even more impressive than I could have imagined.

Then there was the National Mall.

I was looking forward to seeing where they hold the Independence Day fireworks and all of the other great yearly events.

When we made our way to the mall, I couldn’t have been more disappointed.

To put it kindly, it’s a dump.

Trash, dirty bathrooms, stagnant water in the reflecting pool, and dead grass. If there is grass at all.

More like dead mud.

There was also a certain smell I couldn’t put my finger on. Not that I wanted to put my finger on it.

The Mall just wasn’t what I expected.

I guess I should’ve had lower expectations.

Especially since our legislators are in charge, and I figure they are hesitant to give money to the District of Columbia when they can ship it back to their home districts for very important projects (note to reader… this is sarcasm).

The mall hosts millions of visitors a year. You can’t have that many people walking around and expect it to look like a golf course.

I get that.

On the other hand I don’t think the National Mall should look like the grounds at the county fair.

Since it’s our nation’s front lawn, I think we should take care of it.

The least we can do is pay a high school kid $20 to mow it (or smooth out the mud).

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4 Responses to “The National Mall is a National Disgrace.”


  1. timgee3
    on Jul 27th, 2009
    @ 9:27 am

    That’s kind of a bummer. When I was in D.C. the mall was gorgeous. Of course when I was last in D.C., Ronald Reagan was still in office. 22 years could have taken a toll on the place…


  2. congerjan
    on Jul 27th, 2009
    @ 9:29 am

    I am so sorry to hear that the National Mall is in such bad shape. Let me assure you it has not always been as you found it. I used to live in Baltimore and my husband and I would spend Sundays at the Mall watching the polo matches. Even with the horses trampling about the grounds were never as bad as you describe. I hope the present administration sees your post and does something about it.


  3. Angie
    on Jul 27th, 2009
    @ 10:06 am

    Totally agree. I was disappointed. I was picturing us sitting on lush grass while watching the national fireworks. We sat on weeds, trying to get far enough away from the various “singing” groups and overflowing trash cans to at least enjoy the show. I just read in the paper that DC has no representation in Congress, so there isn’t anyone to push for money to improve the city- you were partially right. Very sad. BTW- we were there 8 days and almost did everything we wanted. If we hadn’t had to have walked 200 miles between sites, we might have been able to do more. (The National Cathedral was my favorite.)


  4. Ned
    on Jul 27th, 2009
    @ 11:08 am

    I travel to DC several times per year. The Mall grass and appearance waxes and wanes. It is never going to be a putting green. All in all DC is beautiful city. We should all be proud.

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