Both of which have to do with the people, not the memorials themselves.
One, the memorials are way more crowded than they appear to be in the movies. There are people, almost literally dripping off of them. The steps of the Lincoln Memorial were packed with a mass of humanity. And they great part about that is the diversity of people there. I hear German, Japanese, Korean (I'm pretty sure), Russian, Italian, and a slew of other languages. About the only languages I didn't hear were any African Languages. People were still amazed by the Lincoln statue. There was for moments, and almost reverence about approaching it.
And then there were the other times. When I couldn't walk around without stepping into someone's photo of their kids, parents, family, friends, class groups, etc. Eventually to get the closeup photos I just barged ahead, because they were just taking so long. I just wanted to shout, "You aren't a damn fashion photographer, the image isn't going to get better by waiting longer, take the damn picture and move on." No, really, taking two minutes to focus (with point and shoot cameras, or cell phone cameras), way too fucking long. The people asking, "which button," okay, I can kind of understand. Somewhat. But all you all are blocking the rest of us. Also, posing? No, really, you aren't fashion models. I've worked with fashion models, and with fashion shoots, you aren't close. Just saying.
Maybe a third thought. All you geeks taking photos with your iPads? You aren't fooling anybody. The iPad camera stinks. You're just doing it because you think you're impressing the rest of us (including the people taking photos with their cell phones that were just excuses to flash their expensive iPhones and Androids).