Friday, October 24, 2008

Theodore Roosvelt Memorial

This memorial is a little hard to get to. It's a good three or four mile walk from Arlington, on an island in the Potomac that is closed to all but foot traffic. It is a wildlife sanctuary, which is fitting for the greatest conservation president. I have always been very fond of TR. I'll let his own words on the tablets below speak for themselves.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Iwo Jima Memorial

Just down the road from the gates of Arlington you will find the USMC Memorial. It is a brilliant work of art and holds a special place in my heart as two of my uncles are Marines. I come from a family where military service is practically expected as the price of being a free American. We did it proudly and with a joyful heart. Many times people have said "thank you for your service" upon finding out that I am a veteran. I am slightly embarrassed and don't feel right saying "you're welcome". I just say " I didn't do it for the thanks, but thank you for recognizing it. I did it because I love this land where I am living my life." My uncle Ray Nicol served in Nam and was wounded there. If you want to thank someone, thank someone like him. He would probably just say " It was nothing".
This is the west side of the statue, facing away from the street. The indian, Ira Hayes, is the man whose fingers are not touching the flagpole.

This is the east side, visible from the street...

detail of the south side...

a close up of the man in front...

Uncle Ray, it's like they had you in mind when they wrote this. Semper Fi!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Taking the Metro on an eight mile ride under the Potomac River is a very convenient way to see Arlington National Cemetery and the USMC (Iwo Jima) Memorial. The most striking thing about Arlington is the sheer size of it. Thousands of graves that stretch for acres and acres. While one does not have to be killed in battle to be interred here, one must either die while on active duty, have retired from the U S military, or be the spouse of a qualified veteran buried here. Alas, my bones will never lie here.
This is the standard headstone.

These are the graves of JFK and Jackie, along with young son Patrick, and a daughter...

This is the grave of brother RFK nearby...

This is the home of Gen, Robert E. Lee, whose land was taken to make Arlington. He would have to see the death that he wrought...
From Gen. Lee's front porch you can see the Lincoln Memorial dead ahead, and the Washington Monument off to the right. At the far right is the Jefferson Memorial. Between them lies the Capitol...

The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns (soldiers from WW1, WW2 and Korea, and Viet Nam).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bettisville Ohio

This is the heartland of Northern Ohio. Staunch Republican territory. Imagine my surprise when I saw this and lots of other Obama signs. It has been hit extremely hard by the current economic climate. There will be more pics of Washington, DC soon.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Jefferson Memorial

If you look at my last few posts, you will see that all of these monuments are very close to each other and I have posted about them in the order that you see them as you walk from place to place. Bring good walking shoes! All of the posts that you have seen so far were all done in one day.
As you walk down the lane from the FDR memorial, you see this impressive building...
From the front the memorial is reminiscent of Monticello...
The statue of Jefferson is every bit as impressive as the statue of Lincoln, although, somehow, the seated Lincoln seems to have a little more "gravitas"
Somehow, with the revelation of Jefferson fathering children with the slave, Sally Hemmings, these words ring hallow. Yet they are great words. Jefferson is surely a flawed, but great man. Much like William "Jefferson" Clinton...

Truer words were never spoken...
What can I add in commentary?
I leave the rest to your comments...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

FDR Memorial

I liked this tribute to FDR very much. It is laid out so the you walk through it much as you would go through a museum exhibit laid out over several rooms. It is very understated, yet thought provoking at the same time. Each section highlights a different stage in the history of his presidency.
FDR in the waning days. Again, political correctness strikes. This statue is based on a photograph where FDR has a cigarette (in the classic style black holder) that was one of his characteristics. I don't like the way that history has been "airbrushed" to more fit our modern ideas of what's correct and acceptable.
This should serve as an admonishment to the golden parachute boys running Wall St. and wrecking our economy.

Will a figure emerge to set things right again?
Eleanor is honored with a life sized statue of her own. Truly she was one of our greatest first ladies.