We just came back from our vacation to DC. My take on DC is that it represents both the best and the worse of America. You see the memorials etc. and patriotism, loyal and sacrifice rise within your heart. You are glad and proud to be an American.
You see the homeless and the hungry wondering the streets and all the money and space used for musuems (musuems that are to represent art and it looks like a bunch of garbage) and you are ashamed to be an American.
Great trip with the family none the less and everyone needs to make the pilgrimage at least once in their life.