This is exciting for me. Where progress and history collide. Lt. Kyle Bandermann proposed to his boyfriend Lance Buchanan (photo at right) at one of the first places they had seen when coming to Washington, DC. It’s a little hard to tell from this photo, but the place where Bandermann is proposing is the Peace Statue located outside just outside the US Capitol. This statue is one of two located outside of the west side of the Capitol (the other is a monument to President James Garfield). The Peace Monument was erected in 1877-78 to commemorate the deaths of Naval personnel during the Civil War.
From the Architect of the Capitol:
At the top of the Peace Monument, facing west, stand two classically robed female figures. Grief holds her covered face against the shoulder of History and weeps in mourning. History holds a stylus and a tablet that was inscribed “They died that their country might live.” Below Grief and History, another life-size classical female figure represents Victory, holding high a laurel wreath and carrying an oak branch, signifying strength. Below her are the infant Mars, the god of war, and the infant Neptune, god of the sea. The shaft of the monument is decorated with wreaths, ribbons and scallop shells.
Facing the U.S. Capitol is Peace, a classical figure draped from the waist down and holding an olive sprig. Below her are symbols of peace and industry. A dove, now missing and not documented in any known photographs, once nested upon a sheaf of wheat in a grouping of a cornucopia, turned earth, and a sickle resting across a sword. Opposite, the symbols of science, literature and art (including an angle, a gear, a book, and a pair of dividers) signify the progress of civilization that peace makes possible.
The statue is one of the lesser-known, but still beautiful places in DC. A great spot to ask the one you love to spend the rest of your lives together.