Monday, February 17, 2014

Photo essays: U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Botanic Garden

Students in the National Capital Region recently toured the U.S. Capitol and the Botanic Garden. Talah AlSecait and Shahad Nagoor, two students in professor Christine Bobal's RW500 class, took photos during the trip and later added captions.
A cacao tree with its suspended fruits. It seems that some are more mature than the others. I thought it was a lemon tree when I saw it first. However, it is a wonderful thing that these fruits are the beans from which chocolate is created.

One of America’s symbols of freedom. It seems to be a perfect dome structure. I wish we were able to see some of the parts that need restoration. I wonder if there is any relation between the words freedom and dome?

All scenes in the Botanic Garden are amazing and make you feel comfortable and relaxed. While I was walking, I stopped suddenly when I smelled a special smell -- a scent that is different from the smell of flowers and plants. When I saw this picture, I recognized the source. It came from the homeland!

The crypt room in the Capitol is full of columns. It was built for burying the remains of George Washington. He isn't buried there because he preferred to be buried at his home, according to his will. The crypt room has 13 statues representing the 13 original states.

Out of Many, One: The United States Capitol Building is a place where laws are made, taxes are gathered, and war is declared (if needed). It’s the place where American citizens can find a common ground. The Capitol was designed by Dr. William Thornton in 1793 and was supposed to be completed by 1800, yet it went through three stages: 1800, 1807, and by 1826 all of its wings were completed.

The Beginning: This hall is the where the tour actually begins at the Capitol. In this room, there are many columns to support the dome and the Statue of Freedom, which has been on the top of the Capitol since 1863, while the citizens of United States were struggling from the Civil War. It was also meant to be a resting area for the president back in the 1800s.

The Rotunda: The Rotunda is a very specious hall at the center of the Capitol where most of the funeral/honoring ceremonies have been held since Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. The funeral for Daniel Inouye, a senator from Ohio, and Rosa Parks honoring ceremony were the last two ceremonies held at this hall. In the Rotunda, there are eight different paintings. One of them is about the time when the Americans requested independence from the British.

National Statuary Hall: This hall has a large number of statues of America’s most extraordinary citizens. All statues were contributed by state governments. This big number of statues makes the visitor wonder about the reason behind the statues' colors – brown or white. We were told those colors are determined by a specific committee at the Capitol and can’t be changed. This hall also has the “Whisper Spot,” where you can hear someone’s voice from the other end of the hall but not the middle or anywhere else.

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