Author Archives: Rick

First U.S. president rests high on the hill

Leaving the Gaylord National Hotel in Oxon Hill, I point to a lonely tree above the rising MGM Grand casino and parallel to the beltway and say, “That’s where the first president of the United States is buried.” Wait, isn’t … Continue reading

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Fort Lincoln Cemetery: Defending Washington during Civil War

    Two cannons rest amid earthworks in Fort Lincoln Cemetery just past the city’s eastern border, remnants of the Civil War defense. Ironically, they’re only a couple hundred yards from the Battle of Bladensburg in 1814 where the British … Continue reading

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Cross of Sacrifice at Arlington National Cemetery

It’s often called the “Canadian Cross” but technically the large cross behind the Tomb of the Unknowns and near the memorials to astronauts is called the “Cross of Sacrifice.” The bronze sword atop the 24-foot gray granite cross was dedicated … Continue reading

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Take a long look at America and War and Peace

Some artwork only requires a moment’s attention to grasp its focus. America and War and Peace will take awhile. Located by the John F. Kennedy Center entrance, the bronze series of panels 16 feet long was a gift from Germany … Continue reading

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Daniel Webster offers the highest of relief panels

Normally, the high relief art complements the statue, but the two beneath the statue of Daniel Webster are the coolest ones I’ve seen around town. They are nearly lifelike, showing none of their 110 years. The scene in the front … Continue reading

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Down by the old, old, old spring house

  It is a house of mystery. Well, at least a spring house of mystery. In nearly the middle of Ft. Lincoln Cemetery is a spring house believed to be one of the older structural relics of the American colonization … Continue reading

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Capitol pediment: The Progress of Civilization

The Senate portico’s eastern front (facing the sunrise) is about America and its conquests. Frankly, the Capitol pediment pretty easy symbolism to decipher. According to James M. Goode’s fine book “Washington Sculpture,” the woman in the middle is America standing … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Moongate Garden at Smithsonian Castle

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Wordless Wednesday: Get your seafood

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Why are coins left on veterans’ graves?

Why are coins left on grave stones at Arlington National Cemetery? Particularly, the graves of Robert F. Kennedy and his brother Teddy plus World War II hero Audey Murphy. I thought it was something senseless the school kids did. Maybe … Continue reading

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Buffalo boys won’t you come out tonight

I have long heard about the bridge with buffalos and never realized how closely I walked by them. The bridge is just one block south of Sheridan Circle on Massachusetts Ave. N.W. The Dumbarton Bridge has four buffalos overlooking Rock … Continue reading

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The Geronimo marker, well sorta

Sometimes a really strange marker hits you when passing by. Wait, was that Geronimo surrendering in Arlington National cemetery? Well, yes it is, but the marker celebrates the person buried there who captured the Apache leader — George Crook. Located … Continue reading

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Hahnemann: Hero of Homeopathy

No way you know what this monument is unless you’re a pharmacist. Wandering in Scott Circle where Massachusetts Ave. and 16th St. N.W. meet is one of the widest monuments away from the mall. Four bas relief panels each four … Continue reading

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DuPont Circle in the summertime

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How to find your state at the World War II Memorial

The first thing tourists look for at the World War II Memorial isn’t the magnificent fountain, the stars that each represent 100 dead U.S. soldiers, bas relief art by the entrance or names of the battles. No, they want to … Continue reading

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Wandering along Embassy Row: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

My first walk along Embassy Row found a new statue since my last stroll. is in front of the Republic of Turkey embassy’s official residence. “The Father of Turks” was a World War I military officer who later served as … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Phillips Collection

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Motherland hugs the American Red Cross

In appreciation of U.S. aid to Armenian earthquake victims, sculptor Friedrich Sogoyan created an oversized mother hugging her child based upon a woman who survived several days in the rubble with her child. The Dec. 7, 1988 earthquake killed more … Continue reading

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Air Force Memorial rises above Washington

  It lies between Arlington National Cemetery, Navy Annex and the Pentagon, but the Air Force Memorial can be seen many places around town. Indeed, you can also see much of Washington from the memorial. Built in 2006 to remember … Continue reading

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Kilroy was here

He was the best known image of the American GI during World War II even if everybody claimed his name. “Kilroy was here” was a popular phrase accompanied by a drawing of a bald man looking over a wall that … Continue reading

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