“The Father of the American Navy”
Franklin Square, situated between K St, I St, 13th St, and 14th St, sees no end of vehicle or pedestrian traffic throughout the day. Food trucks line the eastern end of the park at lunch time while workers from the nearby office buildings enjoy lunch around the park’s broken fountain. On the western edge, overlooking 14th St’s never-ending stream of traffic, is the largely forgotten father of the United States Navy.
Continue reading “Commodore John Barry”
“A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.”
Standing in a lonely traffic circle west of the U.S. Capitol building is a memorial that has come to be called the Peace Monument. Most of the visitors it receives have come to see the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, and few know that it stands in honor of the naval war dead of the American Civil War.
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“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”
South of the White House, on land that was reclaimed from the Potomac River in the late 19th century, stands the memorial to Thomas Jefferson. It doesn’t have good parking and it can be tricky to walk to on foot, but the Jefferson Memorial remains one of the most popular monuments in D.C.
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“Let us be free, the rest matters not.”
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.
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“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.
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“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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“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.
Continue reading “Benito Juárez”