The Civil War Connections Blog

Upon visiting the John Ericsson National Memorial

I made a brief visit to the John Ericsson National Memorial in Washington, DC recently.  If you haven’t been, I’ll warn you that it’s not the easiest memorial to visit as it sits in the median in West Potomac Park, near where  Independence Avenue, 23rd Street, and Ohio Drive, SW all come together.  Yes – it’s right there near the Lincoln Memorial and on the way to Martin Luther King and FDR. But there are no crosswalks – so be careful. Luckily the traffic was light when we were there. I will write a longer post about the history of it at some point – but wanted to write this whilst the visit was still fresh in my mind.

Part of the John Ericsson memorial in Washington, DC

Detail from the John Ericsson memorial in Washington, DC

 

The sun was such that I could not get a good shot of the memorial overall. But I wanted to share two images that I took. Here is the first: John Ericsson sitting beneath the trio of allegorical figures (Adventure, Labor, and Vision – all grouped with Yggdrasil – the Tree of Life).

The John Ericsson Memorial in Washington, DC (photo by Anna Holloway)

The John Ericsson Memorial in Washington, DC (photo by Anna Holloway)

 

But look closely at his right hand. Nestled there gently was a baby bird too scared to fly away from me.

Baby bird hiding by Ericsson's hand - John Ericsson Memorial, Washington, DC (photo by Anna Holloway)

Baby bird hiding by Ericsson’s hand – John Ericsson Memorial, Washington, DC (photo by Anna Holloway)

 

It made me smile – this most fragile creature sheltered by a man of stone. A man who built war machines and changed our world.

I always thought Ericsson had a soft spot.