Glorious weather for Washington Monument reopening and glorious views (PHOTOS)

The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drums Corps perform on the National Mall before the re-opening ceremony of the Washington Monument, Monday, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drums Corps perform on the National Mall before the reopening ceremony of the Washington Monument, Monday, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

After almost a thousand days of repair that followed the earthquake of 2011, the Washington Monument reopened on Monday to great fanfare.  Press from around the world were in Washington to cover the event and the weather cooperated for all.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and philanthropist David Rubenstein were among the many dignitaries that took part in the ceremony to reopen the monument.  Fourth-graders from Washington, D.C.’s Aiton Elementary School also helped give a history lesson during the reopening ceremony.

The National Park Service and The Trust for the National Mall managed the events of the day very well.  The good weather and small-to-medium crowd size helped make for a wonderful event.  I was surprised that it was easy to get tickets into the Washington Monument for the first half of the day.

A mini version of the Washington Monument as running around Mall with a sign, "Come in, we're open."  The little monument was quite popular and posed for many photographs. (Kevin Ambrose)

A mini version of the Washington Monument was running around National Mall with a sign, “Come in, we’re open.” The little monument was quite popular and posed for many photographs. (Kevin Ambrose)

Below are a set of photos that I took on the National Mall and inside the Washington Monument starting at 6:15 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m. on May 12.  I took several of the photos while I waited in line.

I was particularly interested to find and photograph the Washington Monument’s new lightning exhibit.  I had previously worked with the National Park Service to provide one of my lightning photos for an exhibit inside the monument and I was given almost no information about how it would be displayed.  I found the exhibit and I have included a photo below.

Clouds moved overhead during the afternoon and the humidity levels climbed, but overall the weather cooperated for the Washington Monument’s big day.  May 12, 2014 will be memorable for many.

(Kevin Ambrose)

“No guns, knives, or pointy sticks,” explained the NPS ranger as he gave instructions to the line of visitors about to enter the Washington Monument on May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

The first person in line to enter the Washington Monument was an instant celebrity with the press.  (Kevin Ambrose)

The first person in line to enter the Washington Monument was an instant celebrity with the press, May 12, 2014.  (Kevin Ambrose)

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis addresses the crowd at the reopening ceremony of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

The reopening ceremony of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spoke at the Washington Monument's reopening ceremony, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was one of the dignitaries who spoke at the Washington Monument’s reopening ceremony, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

Fourth-graders from Washington, D.C.'s Aiton Elementary School gave a Washington Monument history lesson during the reopening ceremony, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

Fourth-graders from Washington, D.C.’s Aiton Elementary School gave a Washington Monument history lesson during the reopening ceremony, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

CNN (left) and NBC (right) were two of the many media teams in town to cover the reopening of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

CNN (left) and NBC (right) were broadcasting news reports during the reopening of the Washington Monument.  Al Roker (right) was also master of ceremonies for the reopening ceremony of the Washington Monument.  (Kevin Ambrose)

The lightning display is one of the new exhibits inside the Washington Monument.  The monument's lightning rods are on display with a <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2009/07/washingtons_amazing_lightning.html">lightning photo that I took on July 1, 2005</a>.  (Kevin Ambrose)

A lightning display is one of the new exhibits inside the Washington Monument.  The monument’s lightning rods are on display with a lightning photo that I took on July 1, 2005 of the Washington Monument getting struck by lightning.  The lightning exhibit is located near the top of the monument next to the elevators that take visitors back down to ground level.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Media teams interviewed visitors of the Washington Monument in an almost non-stop fashion, May 12, 2014.  I was interviewed twice by media teams from Japan.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Media teams interviewed visitors of the Washington Monument in an almost non-stop fashion during the reopening of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014.  I was interviewed twice by media teams from Japan.  Judging by the accents, the media team in this photo was from the UK.  (Kevin Ambrose)

(Kevin Ambrose)

The east view from the top of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

The north view from the top of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014.  (Kevin Ambrose)

The north view from the top of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014.  (Kevin Ambrose)

The west view from the top of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014.  (Kevin Ambrose)

The west view from the top of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014.  (Kevin Ambrose)

The south view from the top of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

The south view from the top of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

An early morning view (left) and an afternoon view (right) of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

An early morning view (left) and an afternoon view (right) of the Washington Monument, May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

A commemorative stone inside the Washington Monument. The monument's elevator slows down to allow passengers to view the various stones. (Kevin Ambrose)

A commemorative stone inside the Washington Monument. The monument’s elevator slows down to allow passengers to view the various stones on the descent from the top. (Kevin Ambrose)

(Kevin Ambrose)

A commemorative ticket was handed out to visitors of the Washington Monument on May 12, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

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D.C. area forecast: Very warm today but unsettled through Friday; weekend looking up