Sunday, June 14, 2015

Washington Park (Portland)

I came to this park to see some beautiful roses (which I will get to in a minute).  What I found was the most beautiful park I have ever seen; I would compare it to Central Park in NY.  It was huge, with tons of lush, thick trees and shrubs and flowers and monuments and things to do.   I am sure the people of Portland love and cherish this park.

This is the International Rose Test Garden.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it.  You park your car in Washington Park, then walk on a little pathway.  When you get to the top of it, you are hit with - BAM - sooooo many roses; I'd say millions.

There was every color, every smell, every variety. 

Obviously, I am partial to the yellow/orange/pinkish ones

I  LOVE this one!

This was so nice - bricks with the names of the roses on them.

This was an amazing Holocaust Memorial.  As one would imagine, it was extremely gut-wrenching.  I am so glad I stopped and saw it.

Such a somber and peaceful place

When you first enter the memorial, there are these things on the ground.  They are placed along the walkway.  I really didn't pay much attention to them; not that I was ignoring them, I just was looking ahead to the memorial and didn't really give them notice - until I left.  Whoever designed this memorial did an incredible job of telling a story with these things, without having to say anything.

As I was leaving, I saw the baby shoe and the glasses below.  Nothing hits you in the face like a ton a bricks like this does.  It makes you emotional and so sad.  The glasses were particularly hard to see, because I remember in the US Holocaust Memorial in Washington DC, there was a big room with all kinds of little items in it; little personal items that the Nazis stole from their victims.  There were pairs of glasses like this, little pairs of scissors, trinkets that were special to who owned them, items that make people feel like human beings.  So, when I saw this, it just really impacted me.  Nobody likes to see sad or ugly things.  This is a beautiful park that should make you happy, and this memorial tells a story of one of the worst times in history - a story that needs to be repeated again and again.  As long as we never forget, then, hopefully, history won't repeat itself, and the victims of the Nazis won't be forgotten.  

In keeping with the somber mood, next was a Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.  This, too, was a sad and beautiful place.  It was very interesting how they did this.  Each panel had a year on it, and the people who perished that year in the war.  It also told a story about that particular year regarding the war.  This is my era so I vividly remember the Vietnam War.

These panels went all the way around the garden.  Each one was a different year.  I love the way they told the story of the Vietnam War with each panel.

As the years go on, more and more lives are lost in this war.

These are just a few pictures of the rest of the park.  It is a huge park and there were lots of people enjoying it (like me!).

Love the dogwoods.

Very nice overlook of Portland.

A statue of Sacajawea

Lewis and Clark Monument

Indian statue