The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is a big monument in the center of Washington D.C. Roosevelt was president of the United States from 1933 until 1945, so not only was he there during the Great Depression, he was also president during the Second World War. My history finals at secondary school were about the modern history of the United States, so I had just learned a lot about him and his policy when I visited this memorial. I thought his New Deal policy was a great solution for the Great Depression and his hatred of war is something we can probably all relate to.
The monument consists of four open-air spaces with waterfalls, quotes by Roosevelt and some statues. There was a heatwave in Washington D.C. while we were visiting and it was about 40°C (104°F), so the waterfalls made it a little cooler, which was nice. The memorial was made in 1997. The thing I liked most were the quotes carved into the rocks.
“They who seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers, call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.” This one is about the nazi’s, but I think it is still a relevant quote. Unfortunately, there are still many countries where the heads of state don’t give the people the opportunity to vote or when they do, they still always win the elections because of corruption.
This one was my favorite quote. “I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded… I have seen cities destroyed… I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.” The last sentence is echoed in the rocks. That way it gets more power. I know I can only imagine the horrors of war and I am grateful that I’ve never had to experience it. But even only hearing of it on the news always makes me think about why humans do these sort of things to each other. I think we can (and should) all agree on the statement “I hate war”.
In the middle of the memorial, this quote tells the visitor: “More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars”. A beautiful central statement of an impressive memorial.