Author Archives: Rick

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

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery, Memorials | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ranking presidents

Posted in Washington life | Leave a comment

Ranking presidents 1-44

1. George Washington    Abraham Lincoln   Franklin D. Roosevelt  Theodore Roosevelt   Dwight D. Eisenhower Harry S. Truman          Lyndon B. Johnson      John F. Kennedy 10. Thomas Jefferson  James K. Polk              John Adams Ronald Reagan Ulysses S. Grant                      Bill Clinton       Barack Obama            … Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Washington life | Leave a comment

Counting presidential inaugurations attendance

Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration will be limited to guests, which is not the first time that has happened. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth inaugural was at the White House because of his failing health while Ronald Reagan’s second was indoors because … Continue reading

Posted in Washington life | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

American Indian Museum

Posted in Smithsonian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gold thieves — beware the griffins

Plenty of treasure hunters come to Washington looking for riches, but the guardians are always there to protect our gold. Two Acacia Griffins protect the Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Building at 51 Louisiana Ave. N.W. in the shadow of the … Continue reading

Posted in Monuments and Statues | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Plenty of grief has come from Adams Memorial

This is a story that can feel personal. Of death and despair. Mark Twain and mistakes. When you find the statue made by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the middle of Section E of Rock Creek Cemetery, hidden within a tall square … Continue reading

Posted in Monuments and Statues | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Righting a wrong in American history

Our country has plenty of ugly moments. Slavery and the American Indian wars were the 19th century blunders that we thought were behind us. And then World War II came with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, 112,000 Japanese-American … Continue reading

Posted in Memorials | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Secret White House entrance is no secret

Is something a secret if everyone that cared to know about it since 1941 indeed knows about it? Visitors often asked about whether there are secret tunnels from the White House. They’re thinking of the 1993 movie “Dave” where a … Continue reading

Posted in Washington life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Handscaping U.S. Capitol grounds was visionary

Give Frederick Law Olmsted credit — he didn’t miss a thing. When landscaping the U.S. Capitol grounds in 1874, Olmstead wanted to create things that were both aesthetic and functional. The walls were low so the public could see over … Continue reading

Posted in Monuments and Statues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abe Lincoln’s dog – Fido

Posted in Abraham Lincoln | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Happy 11th anniversary to Monumental Thoughts

Well, it wasn’t the best of years for tourism. In fact, the global pandemic has completely shut down Washington tourism since March. Just days from the start of the spring tour season, the government shut us down for a few … Continue reading

Posted in Washington life | Leave a comment

National Christmas Tree is . . . pink?

Posted in Washington life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A window underseas – World War II Submarine Memorial

It is a window to nowhere and to the seven seas. The World War II Submarine Memorial honoring those who served in the “Silent Service” faces the U.S. Navy Memorial near the Lone Sailor statue. The stained-glass window with a … Continue reading

Posted in Memorials, Monuments and Statues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering RFK

Posted in Washington life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Rick Snider reads from ‘The Angel Among Us’

Posted in Washington life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cupid’s Garden crosses many paths

I’ve driven by this sculpture countless times, but usually at breakneck speed coming down the hill on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington trying to make the light. Finally, I was walking nearby so I had to see it up close. I … Continue reading

Posted in Monuments and Statues | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Update: The man with the dog on the Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial’s Wall of Remembrance is often overlooked by passersby concentrating on the statues. But, it has so many great images among the 1,500 that are worth seeing. And the best is for last – the German Shepherd … Continue reading

Posted in Memorials | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering a soldier’s death – John Rodgers Meigs

A life-sized bronze Union soldier is shown atop his grave just like this final moments were spent. It’s pretty dramatic in Arlington National Cemetery filled with overwhelming memorials. John Rodgers Meigs was the third generation of a proud military family. … Continue reading

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment