— Crazy Horse Memorial —
Standing sentinel over the Black Hills, the Crazy Horse Memorial inspires awe and wonder.
Ongoing work on the project makes it unique among memorials. Since the dedication of Crazy Horse’s face in 1998, the sculpture continues to emerge from the mountain where it is being carved. Current work has focused on blocking out the 219-foot-high horse’s head and continues the vision that sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started in 1948.
Opening Memorial Day weekend, the complex’s Mountain Museum tells the story of the mountain carving and how that process has changed over the years. A number of new displays will be added, along with new exhibits throughout the other spaces.
Groups arrive at the welcome center and watch the 20-minute movie “Dynamite and Dreams,” which recounts the monument’s history and ongoing construction. They can also tour the Indian Museum of North America. Ziolkowski designed and built the museum, which integrated his love of wood and natural lighting. Close to 90 percent of the museum’s collection was donated, by both Native Americans and non-natives.
“The cool part that many people don’t know is that visitors can meet several women who knew those who battled at Little Big Horn,” said spokesman Pat Dobbs. “Freda Goodsell works in the gift shop, and Lula Red Cloud is one of our summer artisans. In 1948, there were nine living Lakota warriors who were in that battle; five of those men helped dedicate the mountain.”
Korczak’s Heritage gift shop sells many one-of-a-kind pieces of Native American art and jewelry. During the summer, Native American artists and craftspeople create artwork at the memorial complex. Memorial Day weekend through Native Americans’ Day in mid-October, the Legends in Light laser light show is projected onto the carving for a spectacular evening finale.
— Washington Memorials —
In our nation’s capital, groups look forward to visiting the Lincoln, Jefferson and Martin Luther King memorials, plus others located throughout the city.
The iconic Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in 1922 to honor President Abraham Lincoln. Grecian columns representing the 36 states that constituted the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death surround the imposing 19-foot statue. Engravings of the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s second inaugural speech embellish the memorial walls.
The dome-shaped rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial pays tribute to America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. Located on the Tidal Basin and especially stunning during cherry blossom season, it offers a fabulous view of the White House from the top steps. Inside, the 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson is surrounded by passages from the Declaration of Independence and Jefferson’s other writings.
Between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial honors King’s many contributions to the civil rights movement. Opened in 2011, it was the first major memorial along the mall dedicated to an African-American and a nonpresident. The themes of democracy, justice, hope and love converge in the “Stone of Hope,” a 30-foot-high sculpture of King and the 450-foot-high inscription wall that features his quotes.
“After dusk, the memorials are absolutely spectacular when they’re illuminated with soft white lights,” said Destination D.C. spokeswoman Kate Gibb. “There’s enough light to read the memorials, and National Park Service rangers are available to answer questions.”