An American soldier of the U.S. First Army stands in the middle of rubble in the Monument of the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig after the Allies attacked the city on 18 April 1945. The huge monument commemorating the defeat of Napoleon in 1813 was one of the last strongholds of the German forces in the city to surrender. One hundred and fifty SS fanatics with ammunition and foodstuffs stored in the structure to last three months dug themselves in and were determined to hold out as long as their supplies. The First Army artillery eventually blasted the SS troops into surrender. Leipzig had already sustained heavy and frequent aerial assaults by British and U.S. forces beginning in 1943, leaving the city in complete ruins by war’s end. Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. 18 April 1945. Image taken by Eric Schwab.
A view rarely seen by anyone. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell stands ABOVE the top of the Washington Monument. The Secretary received an update on the repairs needed following the August 2011 earthquake and took a tour up to the top earlier this month.
Effigy Mounds is truly a sacred place and many Iowans don’t even realize it’s right in their back yard. It’s a National Monument on the mighty Mississippi River and with great walking trails it is easily accessible to view the burial mounds as well as overlook the river.
To me, it’s still a wonder how landmarks such as this were made and then rediscovered. I’m a big supporter of the U.S. National Park Service and all the work that it does to preserve these beautiful places and spaces.