Columbus Memorial Fountain

Columbus Memorial Fountain

“His discovery was a blunder; his blunder was a new world; the New World is his monument!”

Union Station is the primary transportation hub in Washington, D.C. Thousands pass through it daily but few stop to appreciate the impressive fountain that sits outside its entrance honoring Christopher Columbus and his contributions to the colonization of the American continents.

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Chief Justice John Marshall

Chief Justice John Marshall

 “The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their own will, and lives only by their will.”

In between the Canadian Embassy and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, just south of C St. NW, is John Marshall Park. At the northern edge of the tree-lined park, framed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, sits the statue of the man who defined the powers of the Constitution, the judiciary, and the relationship between the federal government and the states: John Marshall.

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Brevet Lt. General Winfield Scott

Brevet Lt. General Winfield Scott

“Peace won by compromise is usually a short lived achievement.”

Scott Circle sits at the intersection of 16th St. NW, Massachusetts Ave., and Rhode Island Ave. To the east is the Samuel Hahnemann monument and to the west is Daniel Webster’s monument. Thousands pass by it daily, though few know of the contributions of General Winfield Scott (or his legacy), whose equestrian statue stands in its center.

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Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

“The Korean War: No Victors, No Vanquished.”

South and east of the Lincoln Memorial, next to Daniel French Dr. and Independence Ave., is one of the most well-known war memorials in Washington, D.C. Few memorials are imbued with as much humanity as the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Nineteen stainless steel soldiers march in formation in a triangular park. To their south is a wall of black granite with photographic images sandblasted onto its surface. At the eastern end of the park is the Pool of Remembrance. On the northern edge is the United Nations Wall, listing the 22 UN member nations that sent soldiers to Korea.

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John Ericsson

John Ericsson

“Now comes the reign of iron.”

Less than 1,000 feet south of the Lincoln Memorial at the southern terminus of 23rd St is a forgotten monument honoring the memory of the inventor of the USS Monitor, America’s first ironclad warship. Sitting on a tear-drop-shaped traffic island, John Ericsson’s memorial is cut off from pedestrians and tourists by traffic coming into and out of Arlington.

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National Capitol Columns

National Capitol Columns

“We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution.”

On a grassy hilltop on the grounds of the National Arboretum stand 22 stately Corinthian columns. They originally stood at the East Portico – the covered entrance – to the Capitol building, where they witnessed the inauguration of 27 Presidents. Reminiscent of the ruins of ancient Persepolis or a forgotten Roman temple, they are an elegant reminder of the history of Washington, D.C., and the changes that have shaped the city.

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Benito Juárez

Benito Juárez

“Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.”

Standing in front of the Watergate Hotel and the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia is the statue of one of the most prominent leaders in Mexican history – Benito Juárez. Facing north, with a stand of trees behind it, the visage of the statue is often shaded and overlooked. Add to that its distance from the National Mall and it’s easy to understand why few know of its existence.

Dedicated in 1969 in a ceremony attended by U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Mexican Foreign Minister Antonio Carrillo Flores, the statue was a gift from Mexico in exchange for a statue of Abraham Lincoln that the U.S. had given to the Mexican government in 1966.

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