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Opinion: Open! Open! Open in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Monument and blooming trees are seen from the Potomac River during a DC Cruises tour in Washington on Thursday, March 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

The last time I saw the Washington Monument was over my father’s profile out the window of a bus full of World War II veterans. We were lucky enough to be there as part of the Honor Flight group seven years ago. I am so looking forward to returning to an open Washington, D.C. this October with my husband and sons. It will be my sons’ first trip to our nation’s capital, so I’ve been anxiously watching the news, hoping the monuments and museums will open back up to visitors.

You can imagine how excited I was today to learn that the Washington Monument reopened to visitors today. Tickets sold out in 90 seconds. 90 SECONDS!!! I better get online and get our October tickets as soon as I’m done here. They will have limited capacity initially and are requiring masks for people ages two and up, even if you’re fully vaccinated.

But who cares?!

Going up in the Washington Monument is one of those patriotic moments of a lifetime. I pray nothing happens between now and October that will prevent my family from experiencing it.

Many Washington, D.C. sites open 

So many of the museums and galleries in Washington, D.C. are open, including the Natural History Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the National Zoo, the National Air and Space Museum, Mount Vernon, and the not to be missed National Spy Museum. The Library of Congress will reopen on Thursday. The National Museums of African and Asian Art will open Friday. Several others won’t open until August. You can get the full list here

The only thing that you might be disappointed to learn is the Capitol Building is still closed to visitors. No tours are being scheduled there as of yet. Madame Tussaud’s and the Washington National Cathedral are also both still closed to the public. 

D.C. nostalgia 

I have fond memories of going to D.C. when I was ten or eleven with my parents, brother and sister. It was during the cherry blossom season. There are pictures somewhere of us looking tired, but happy, amid all the pink blossoms.

We walked to the Lincoln Memorial and read the words etched on the walls out loud. It was before the Vietnam, Korea or World War II memorials were built. The mall is such a richer place now with the addition of those memorials.

I remember going to the Smithsonian and taking a picture of the Hope Diamond and wondering if I would ever see such an extraordinary thing again, too young to appreciate that life would bring me things, people and moments to marvel at every day.