Author Archives: Rick

Wordless Wednesday: Words of wisdom

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Happy 2018

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Monumental Thoughts turns 7

Happy birthday to . . . us. Seven years of roaming the streets as a licensed Washington tour guide, seven years of blogging about what I see and learn. When will it end? I have no idea. Probably at least … Continue reading

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Christmastime in Georgetown

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White House Christmas tree

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Christmas village at 8th and F Sts. NW

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Boy Scout Memorial combines past and present

The Boy Scout represents the aspirations of all past, present, and future Scouts throughout the world. He carries a staff that has been taken from the male figure’s branch of peace. The scout wears the traditional uniform of the group … Continue reading

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Best Lincoln Memorial photo tips

The best times to photograph the Lincoln Memorial are at night and early morning. Otherwise, the overhead sun leaves it looking flat and the evening sun is behind the Lincoln to provide a dark photo. Night photography can be easy, … Continue reading

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Statue of Dr. Philip Jaisohn looks like the real thing

Many statues kinda, sorta, maybe look like the person. Given many of the subjects are long dead, it’s not always easy to know how striking the likeness may be. But outside the South Korean Embassy along Massachusetts Ave. is not … Continue reading

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Cuban Friendship Urn – we’re friends again

Now that the U.S. has restored relations with Cuba after a half century of the Cold War, the Cuban Friendship Urn reminds us of a time when we were friends. Actually, U.S.-Cuban relations are a little complicated. The USS Maine … Continue reading

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Barred photo sites around Washington

Washington is the seventh most photographed city in the world, but some buildings and inside exhibits are barred. The most prominent no-no is the Pentagon because it is a military installation. There are big signs on the perimeter that say … Continue reading

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The man behind the grave marker

It’s not often you see who’s lying underground, but former U.S. Secretary of War William Worth Belknap’s image adorns a large bronze medallion on his marker at Arlington National Cemetery that’s worth a look. Located near the Pan Am 103 … Continue reading

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Marker gives a new meaning to ‘Anchors away’

Navy commodore George Francis Cutter and his wife Mary Louisa Cutter rest in the rear of Arlington National Cemetery. The Section 1 memorial has an anchor atop a rocky memorial. It’s one of the more unusual markers in the cemetery … Continue reading

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Women In Military Service For America Memorial

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On the edge of Arlington National: Medgar Evers

I like to wander the edges of Arlington National Cemetery, by forgotten graves far from the hordes of visitors who don’t stray far from the Kennedy flame and Tomb of the Unknowns. It’s peaceful, feeling like a cemetery instead of … Continue reading

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3 Iwo Jima flag raisers buried at Arlington National Cemetery

  Battle of Iwo Jima Seventy years have passed since five Marines and a Navy corpsman lifted a flag into the volcanic ash to inspire Americans into one last push to defeat the Japanese and end World War II. And … Continue reading

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Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of Remembrance

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San Martin rides tall among Latin American memorials

  When researching the story of Gen. Jose de San Martin, it sounded so much like the nearby statue of Gen. Simon Bolivar that I had to double check I was looking at the latter. No wonder their statues are … Continue reading

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The grave in the tree at Arlington National Cemetery

The grave has almost been lost to a tree Michael Burns’ grave in the rear of Arlington National Cemetery has a very large oak nearly swallowing the Civil War infantryman’s site. The standard stone marker is right next to the … Continue reading

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Happy Thanksgiving

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