Exploring D.C. with Forrest Gump? #MyTownInMovies


When I was a kid in the late 90s early 2000s one of my favorite movies to watch was Forrest Gump. My mom had the VHS tape along with other classics of that time like Jerry Maguire, Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman, etc.

Back in those days there was no Netflix, YouTube, OnDemand or anything, so when there was nothing to watch on tv you had to resort to whatever tapes you had in your home collection. Of course that’s what me and my big brother did. We would watch Forrest Gump over and over because simply it was just that good!


The film has every element that you need for a good story. It has relatability, human pain, human strength, overcoming, challenges, love, friendship all wrapped up into one cohesive story. At the time I was obviously a child, so in the scene when Forrest runs through the water for Jenny at the Lincoln Memorial, I thought man Forrest was there with Martin Luther King Jr. I really thought he was there. LOL.

Back in those days I looked at fictional films as if it were real life until I got older and media literate. LOL. I decided to visit the Lincoln Memorial to reflect and picture one of my favorite movies of all time happening there.


For me getting to the iconic location was tricky and I couldn’t depend on the map on my phone so I used Addressy, a cloud service that confirms addresses and locations for businesses and individuals. I didn’t have much time, so I wanted to get where I was going.

Visiting the Lincoln Memorial, I thought about other iconic locations used in movies or series in Washington. The first one that came to mind more recently was Netflix’s House of Cards season 2 when Kevin Spacey’s character sat pensively at the fictional Cathedral Height’s metro [fictional], but I’m willing to bet it was actually the Foggy Bottom metro.

If you attended college in Washington, DC like me, then chances are you’ve had to do assignments all over the city in places like the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress and the National Archives.

Ironically, all of these places have been featured in Blockbusters like Will Smith’s Independence Day [1996] when they simulated an explosion of the president’s palace. Or National Treasure [2004] with Nicolas Cage, when he had to sneak into the National Archives to capture the Declaration of Independence.

I must say for all of the places that I’ve visited that were locations for movies, I haven’t connected with any the way I did with the Lincoln Memorial, a pivotal location for a great scene in a great movie.

For me this was a #MyTownInMovies moment because I’ve always visited monuments from a historical perspective, but never from something that I could actually connect with like the great Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.

Maybe I should do a #MyTownInMovies moment at my alma mater Howard University next?




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