The presidential memorial of Franklin Delano Roosevelt represents the whole era of the president’s life. The outstanding achievements of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the World War II and the preceding Great Depression revealed his prominent leading and strategic traits of personality.
This breathtaking memorial looks quite like a park and covers the area of 7.5 acres. Four gallery rooms under the open sky tell us about twelve years of Roosevelt’s presidency (Roosevelt, 1997). The architect of the landscape and designer of the memorial is Lawrence Halprin who was chosen to do the designing work in 1974 (Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, n.d.).
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected for president’s chair four times – more than any other president in the history of the United States.
His memorial includes ten sculptures made of bronze featuring him and Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife. It is decorated with waterfalls and enormous stones with the most prominent quotations and president’s thoughts concerning the problems of the Great Depression and the World War II. For example, “"I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war”. (Roosevelt, 1997).
I am recollecting from the history lessons that Franklin Roosevelt was handicapped, again the only president with such deficiency (the disease of polio made him sit in the wheelchair). However, it did not hinder him reaching outstanding success in the social, economic, and political spheres.
An interesting fact is that this monument is the first memorial in the whole world which was created in such a way that people in wheelchairs can also visit it.
I would like to pay special attention to the central monument of Roosevelt: designers did not want to show him in the wheelchair, therefore, they made the sculpture sitting in the chair with a big coat that helped to hide the wheelchair. In such a way, Roosevelt appeared in front of the whole nation all his life. This step was taken in order to erase stigma which lies on the disable people showing their instability and weakness.
On the other hand, many historians wanted to expose this disability to the society in order to support the truthfulness of facts. They even considered such weakness of the president to be his main strength.
The face of the president expresses seriousness and thoughtfulness. As for me, he is considering the future perspectives for his nation. The expression shows certain farsightedness and the confidence in the next day. The green color of symbolic and longed-for peace adds up to this feeling.
There is a lot of water in the memorial park. Each room has a waterfall which becomes larger and more structurally complex when we proceed our walk. Such complexity symbolizes the hardships the president encountered on his way (Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, n.d.). These waterfalls look impressive and inspire visitors to learn more about the U. S. history, at least I had such a feeling.
Nonetheless the fact that this is the memorial, the area does not make you think about death and the horrors of the World War II. Gardens, water, stone, and various sculptures make this place to feel alive and very refreshing.
The inscriptions give all visitors the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of the famous president. The history of our country is accurately depicted in the sculptures that show scenes from the miseries and horrors of the Great Depression (Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, n.d.).
The central area of the fourth room reflects all the sadness which is so well hidden in the rest of the memorial. This is the place where the funeral scene is represented – the morning of the death of the most prominent president. The statue of elegant Eleanor Roosevelt is also located here.
The entrance of the memorial tells that many tourists come to visit this place. A bookstore and a gift shop, wheelchair and photo exhibits welcome all those who desire to fell the unforgettable magic of this place. The first quotation: “This generations has a rendezvous with destiny” creates a special feeling which lasts still for a long time even when you leave the place (Roosevelt, 1997).
When I visited this place for the first time, I had an impression that I had never seen anything like this memorial in my life. I saw a blue sky above, heard the thunder of marvelous waterfalls, and observed the beauty of the granite from which the walls are built.
To conclude, I would like to add that the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is a place everyone who treasures history, great leaders, and creative designs has to visit. The place, where each patriot of our country understands, how much we have to fight for, what we have to develop, and how we should behave to reach the success in life. To serve the country and its people can bring the biggest happiness and uproot any selfishness which leads to the great problems in each society causing disorders and enmity.
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