“What’s that tall pointy thing?”, asks one of your classmates.
Well of course it’s the Washington Monument! This memorial to our first president was surrounded by fifty flags representing the fifty states, it was built in two stages, hence the reason for the different shade of white sandstone on the bottom third versus the top two-thirds. The memorial was started by private funds, but ran out of money just before the start of the civil war. Funds were donated after the war, but the stone at the original quarry was exhausted, so they had to go to a different location, where the stone was a different shade of white. An elevator takes individuals up to the top viewing deck, but there are 897 steps (according to the National Park Service) if you wanted to walk up.
In recent years, the memorial has suffered from elevator issues (remember that incident with Spiderman!). The last long closure of the memorial was caused when cracks developed on all four sides after the infamous earthquake of 2011. Also, despite the fact that the accepted height has not changed, an actual survey of the monument in 2015 indicated that the monument is actually about 10 inches shorter that the official height of 555 feet, 5 and 1/8th inches tall (at 554 feet, 7 and 11/32 inches tall).
After taking some photos, you realize that one of your images has become a series of questions with a button that shows the history of the monument.