The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial—A Symbolic Place to Launch The Corps Network’s Day of Service

As part of national Great Outdoors Month, The Corps Network’s will host its 2nd Annual Day of Service in the Nation’s Capital. Among this year's service opportunities, volunteers will help complete a painting project at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. This site was selected for the Day of Service kick-off event because of its relevance to the Service and Conservation Corps of today.

In 1933, President Roosevelt helped launch the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as part of his New Deal programs. The CCC help provide unemployed young men and their families with a source of income, as they worked together and built and enhanced much of America’s conservation infrastructure in places like national parks. Today Corps continue this legacy, viewing the CCC as their origin story. For those who can are history buffs or just curious, you can read more here about the progression of the Corps Movement.

What’s Cool about the Memorial and Why are Waterfalls Involved?

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial includes a variety of unique statues, waterfalls, and granite pillars with quotes that showcase FDR’s influence as a President during a time of great challenges and transition for the United States. One of the pillars shares a quote about the purpose of the Civilian Conservation Corps: “I propose to create a Civilian Conservation Corps to be used in simple work...More important, however, than the material gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work.”

Here are a few additional fun facts from the National Park Service’s Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial webpage:

  • “The FDR Memorial on the National Mall is the second FDR Memorial in Washington, DC. The first one was built just the way Roosevelt wanted: a marble block no larger than his desk. The memorial stone stands on the northwest grounds of the National Archives Building, facing the U.S. Navy Memorial.”
     
  • “At seven and a half acres, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is the largest presidential memorial on the National Mall.”
     
  • “The waterfalls throughout the memorial are there for several reasons. First, they are symbolic of FDR’s connection to and love of water (he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I). Second, they block out some of the noise from the airport located directly across the Potomac River.”

Additional information about The Corps Network’s Great Outdoors Month Day of Service in the Nation’s Capital can be found here.