Darth Vader at the Washington National Cathedral

Apr 28, 2010

What do Darth Vader, a moon rock and ANZAC Day (for an explanation please read, ANZAC Day and ANZAC Biscuits) have in common? They all have a special place at the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Aves, NW in the Washington National Cathedral.

Yesterday was my first visit to the Washington National Cathedral. I along with my fellow Australian and New Zealand expats attended the annual commemorative service held at the Cathedral to mark ANZAC Day. The service gave me an opportunity to hobnob with others of my accent whilst paying tribute to our fallen military men and women. The visit to the Washington National Cathedral also allowed me to not only appreciate the beautiful building and spectacularly manicured lawns but absorb some of it's quirkiness.

In the 1980's the Washington National Cathedral placed a gargoyle of Darth Vader on the top of one of it's towers. As part of a decorative sculpture competition for children, Darth along with other eccentric gargoyles including a raccoon, a girl with pigtails and braces and a man with large teeth and an umbrella now grace the outside of the building. The quirks do not end on the outside, once inside, looking up amongst the beautiful and grand stained glass windows, there is none other than a piece of lunar rock embedded in the glass.

I love a little religion, mixed in with a little U.S pop culture, all while commemorating an Australian holiday.