In the corner of the intersection of Virginia Ave. and 20th St. stands the equestrian statue of one of South America’s greatest leaders. In between the Office of Personnel Management and the State Department, the statue sees thousands pass by it daily, but the legacy of General José de San Martín has been largely forgotten in North America.
“We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it.”
Southwest of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, at the northern edge of East Potomac Park, lies one of the most underseen memorials in Washington, honoring one of the least known founders of our country. Thousands pass by it daily on Interstate 395, but few stop to regard George Mason or contemplate his contributions to the country.
“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.
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.
“This Memorial is less for Abraham Lincoln than those of us today, and for those who follow after.”
The Lincoln Memorial is the most visited monument in Washington, D.C. According to the National Park Service statistics, nearly 8 million people visited the memorial in 2015. The site is open to the public all day, every day, and it is rare to see it without any visitors. Thousands of drivers pass it every day coming to or from Arlington or West Potomac Park.
Plans for the construction of a monument to Lincoln began less than three years after his death. Clark Mills – the sculptor of the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park and George Washington’s at Washington Circle – was chosen for the task. His design called for a monument 70 feet high with 36 bronze sculptures, including six equestrian statues. At the top would have been Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation. The monument, which would have stood next to the Capitol, was never made due to a lack of funds.
“We will stand by the flag of our country and appeal to the God of Battles!”
In a quiet park in Foggy Bottom, between 18th and 19th Streets NW, stands the statue of General John A. Rawlins. South of the General Services Administration and north of the Department of the Interior, the park doesn’t see many visitors even though it has a fountain, two reflecting pools, and plenty of benches. The park is also lined with tulip magnolias, which put on a vivid show of pink blossoms in March.
“First in war – first in peace – and first in the hearts of his countrymen”
Sandwiched between West End and Foggy Bottom, at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue, is Washington Circle. Two concentric circles of sidewalk ring the equestrian statue Lieutenant General George Washington that stands in the middle of the park. Benches line the sidewalks and trees provide shade for pedestrians and students from nearby George Washington University.