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Updated: 08/02/2014 08:00:02AM

Out of many, one:

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PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

Alexis' great-great-great-great grandfather, George Walton (No. 16 in painting), was one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

Marisa and Alexis stand in front of the bench Abraham Lincoln was known to sit in for hours in the Capital Rotunda.His staff would often find him staring at the famous paintings that fill the room, searching for inspiration during the darkest times of the Civil War.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

This imposing statue of Abraham Lincoln stands on one side of a hallway the President must enter before reaching the House of Representatives chamber. On the other side is George Washington; the two figures provide an intimidating reminder of the high standards set forth by two of our country's greatest leaders.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

A view of the front of the U.S. Capitol building from The Mall.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

The Washington Monument serves as a stunning backdrop to the Jefferson Memorial.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

Alexis and her cousin provide good scale comparisons when illustrating the epic size of the main doors of the National Archives building.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

The bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln is one of many fascinating items on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine located just outside Washington, D.C.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

George and Martha Washington are located in a specially built tomb on the grounds of Mt. Vernon.Government officials originally planned for him to be buried in a tomb in the center of the U.S. Capitol building, but when the building was finished Washington's family refused to have his remains moved. The tomb remains unoccupied at the Capitol to this day.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

Despite being known as the father of U.S. democracy, George Washington was a slaveowner and used them to help care for his property at Mt. Vernon. Pictured is the sleeping quarters for his female slaves.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

At one point boasting more than 8,000 acres, George Washington's grandiose Mt. Vernon estate is perched on the banks of the Potomac River and is open for public tours.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

A homeless man clutches his teddy bear as he sleeps on a bench outside the Library of Congress Despite a large police and tourist presence, he was never asked to move nor offered any assistance. Despite its awe-inspiring buildings and illustrious history, Washington, D.C. is plagued by a high homeless population and troubling crime rates.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

A man shares a moment of contemplation with Albert Einstein outside the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Monument is one of the most visited -- and arguably the most recognizable -- landmarks in Washington, D.C.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

The World War II Monument honors the men and women from each state and U.S. territory who gave their lives defending the country.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

Entering the Lincoln Memorial, many visitors can be seen staring in silent awe at the impressive statue of Abraham Lincoln that sits in the center of the building.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

Anchoring one end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pools have been the backdrop for historic events such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and the Million Man March among others.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

DeSoto residents will have the opportunity to experience the inspiration and powerful emotions associated with viewing the Vietnam Memorial when the traveling wall exhibit arrives for display in December.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

The author had the privilege of visiting the National Press Club, where he met with journalists from around the world in the print, television, social media and radio fields.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

The changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is an emotional and impressive ceremony that honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

One of the most famous symbols of American power and stature, the White House has endured dramatic changes since its construction in the late 1700s. Among them was being completed gutted by a fire set by British soldiers during the War of 1812.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

President John F. Kennedy's grave sits near the top of Arlington National Cemetary. It's located in front of the Eternal Flame, which has burned uninterrupted since being first lit by his wife Jacqueline in 1963.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

The view from the top of Arlington National Cemetary is breathtaking. The Washington Memorial, Capitol, Pentagon, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial dot the skyline in front of the Potomac River.

PHOTOS BY MARISA BAUER

Seemingly endless rows of gravestones cover the grounds of Arlington National Cemetary, a stark reminder of the enormous cost of freedom we all enjoy.

by Steve Bauer

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E pluribus unum. As an American, we see that Latin phrase on a daily basis, whether we notice it or not. It’s on the back of the $1 bill, on all U.S. coins and is prominently displayed on many patriotic signs and emblems. In fact, it’s located at the top of our national seal. The English translation of the phrase is “out of many, one.” Adopted by Congress in 1782, it was the county’s de facto slogan until 1956, when Congress passed an act declaring “In God We Trust” our official motto.

Having recently returned with my family from a week-long vacation to Washington, D.C., I have thought a lot about that phrase, especially in relation to DeSoto County residents’ frustrations with their local government and the perceived lack of progress in the area.

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