The Other Arlington

For most people, commemorating Memorial Day in Washington D.C. brings images of wreath layings at Arlington Cemetery, or the sounds of motorcycles rumbling into town for Rolling Thunder.

But there are some lesser known commemorations in the District that have ties to the founding of Memorial Day itself.

One is the wreath laying at Logan Circle, which honors the Civil War general who helped launch the holiday – originally known as Decoration Day – all the way back in 1868.

Another happens at the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home (USSAH) National Cemetery, located up the hill north of the Petworth neighborhood and next to Lincoln’s Cottage.

It’s one of our oldest national cemeteries, even pre-dating the better known Arlington Cemetery.

USSAH National Cemetery Gates
USSAH National Cemetery Gates

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A Tale of Two Statues

This weekend I visited two statues in the District I’ve been meaning to see for a long time now. ¬†Sometimes it takes an out-of-town visitor to make it happen, and luckily I had a great one – my friend and former co-worker Heather, who was visiting from Johannesburg.

There she’s known better as 2Summers, which is a fantastic blog about life in South Africa – but particularly about the under-appreciated city of Johannesburg. She calls herself a destination advocate, which is how I feel about D.C.

One of our destinations on this trip was Meridian Hill Park (also known as Malcolm X), for a photography session with some of the park’s eclectic statues. The one she was particularly interested in learning more about¬†is almost hidden in the northwest part of the park, and is called Serenity.

It looks like a weathered, marble Greek goddess from antiquity, but it turns out she’s much younger – only the years have not been kind to her. And neither have Washingtonians.

2Summers communing with the Serenity statue in Meridian Hill Park.
2Summers communes with the Serenity statue in Meridian Hill Park. (Photo: Historic District)

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