In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Wall.”

Walls can tell us so much about our surroundings, about our society, about ourselves.

Some walls tell us of protection from outside forces. These walls at recreated Ft. Caroline in Jacksonville, Florida, tell of protection for people who felt themselves to be in danger…”Come into these walls, and you will be protected.”  But they also acted as a deterrent…”You are not welcome here, stay out.”

These walls form the perimeter of Old Ft. Caroline.

These walls form the perimeter of Old Ft. Caroline.

Some walls speak of days gone by. These walls formed the skeleton of an engine house for the private railroad of Sheahan Quarries in southeastern Missouri in the 1860’s. The walls take us out of our own time; they lead us to another time and an opportunity for new explorations and new understandings.

Old walls at Elephant Rocks State Park in Missouri.

Old walls at Elephant Rocks State Park in Missouri.

Some walls seem to say “Come in, stay a while and visit.” This wall of rowhouses in Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia forms part of a neighborhood. It is a place where residents come home to entertain, to recharge, to enjoy family, to be family.

Elfreth's Alley in Philadelphia.

Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia.

Some walls tell of disaster and great sorrow. The walls at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, made a truly lasting impression on me. It is a solemn place which brings to mind ordinary Americans who, on September 11, found themselves in grave danger, faced their fears and fought back with all their might.

These walls let us venture no further, for just beyond them lays the field where the plane came down. Only families of the victim’s of Flight 93 are allowed past these walls, and that is as it should be.

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The Flight 93 Memorial at Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Some walls tell us that they will keep out the ravages of nature. When the Mississippi River reaches dangerous flood stage, these walls in Cape Girardeau, Missouri are closed, keeping the water out of this thriving college town. When the river is flowing lazily within its banks, these walls form an artistic backdrop to a leisurely stroll or jog along the river’s edge.

Flood wall at Cape Girardeau, MO

Flood wall at Cape Girardeau, Missouri

And some walls tell us we are home…these are my walls, in my house. These walls are my comfort zone!

Walls within a home

Walls within a home

Walls can tell us so much!