Elise Widerlite

Following the Steps to Freedom

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Have you ever wondered if there are faces carved into the back of Abraham Lincoln’s messy hair, if his hands are American Sign Language for his initials, or if the number of steps it takes to reach the memorial chamber is equal to Lincoln’s age when he died? These are some of the myths that visitors of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. find most memorable. Oftentimes, the sheer size of the marble chamber and statue dwarf the memorial’s true hidden meanings.

On President’s Day, Feb. 18, 2013, Park Ranger M. Ragan keeps his post to the left of President Lincoln’s statue, as he guides visitors, answers questions, and debunks such myths. A 26-year veteran of the National Park Service, he explains that the entire memorial is dedicated to the ideals of union and freedom, from the origins of the marble to Lincoln’s hand placement. It is for this reason that the memorial steps were the most fitting site for Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream Speech.” A must-see on visitors’ first trips to the nation’s capital, the Lincoln Memorial stands tall as a U.S. landmark of patriotism, liberty, and democracy.

Note: All photos were taken on an iPhone 4S, using 6×6 and Hipstamatic. Adobe Photoshop Express was used for final edits. All audio was captured using Voice Memos on the iPhone 4S and edited in Audacity. Photos and audio were compiled using Soundslides.

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