This elephant really is huge!
The dinosaur skeletons were also very large and the huge room that held the display of countless skeletons was 'alive' with people.
The cursed Hope Diamond was surrounded by interested spectators. It is huge and beautiful, but I wondered if it would be nearly as interesting if it weren't surrounded by stories that really make it appear that ownership is not a good thing!
The last thing we did this day was to head to the National Archives. Fortunately for us the tourist season was waning as the lines to see our country's most significant historical documents can be really, really long. We still had to wait before we were admitted into the heavily guarded area where we were able to see the original Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and The Bill of Rights. Only about 20 people are admitted at a time, yet the area was filled with people who linger to read this sacred documents. I knew that we were already past the suggested deadline to leave Washington D.C. so I tried to sneak in between visitors to see these documents but it was difficult to do. People who had waited to view these documents were very territorial so I quickly learned that you just get in line and do the best you can because even though a small group of people were being allowed in at intervals of time, people didn't leave. These documents that charted the course of our nation were important to everyone I saw.
Photography is not allowed around these documents, yet I saw a teenage girl with her cell phone out, suspiciously appearing to take photos. I was not the only one who spotted her. She was warned from a short distance by a very large, armed guard. She tried really hard to be sneaky and carried on with her cell phone camera. The guard was not fooled. I thought to myself something like "What an idiot" thinking that a man with a large weapon is not to be messed with. Eventually two guards seemed to have sufficient impact on her to put away her phone.
We visited a number of things on our trip that had a sacred feeling for me. As we walked past the Magna Carte on our way towards the heaven inspired documents that started our nation, I felt that sacredness descend. Even though there was a large group of people devouring these documents with their eyes, there was a hushed feeling of reverence, respect, and awe for these guarded, preserved records. I heard my son explain the significance of each document reverently to his young daughter.
What a blessing to live in a country, founded on religious principles. Modern scriptures teach us that Heavenly Father inspired righteous men to create these documents so that all who live in this country could be blessed by principles of freedom as long as we choose righteousness.
Somehow all the political rhetoric seems meaningless compared to that!