Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Charles & 29th In Wyman Park

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Yesterday’s ride got me up earlier than I’m used to on a Saturday to meet up with folks for Baltimore Heritage’s walking tour of Confederate monuments, led by Eli Pousson. I thought about walking with my bike but thought better of it, locking up to a sign post because there aren’t any bike racks at this park entrance which is all I’m going to say about that.

I took a picture of this monument partly because it’s a Union monument and the tour quickly made me think about how rarely I think about those, and also because doesn’t it look beautiful against that so-blue sky? To see any of them is to have to look up, to put our bodies in a mode of reverence, even if we know better. Much had been said and will continue to be said about Confederate monuments and how they need to go, and maybe they can take the rest of the war ones with them, I thought to myself. And then we took our walk and I wondered how the bust of Johns Hopkins might be thought of as “confederate,” why the memorial to Confederate women is a pieta, how car culture hides and forces a decline in monumental culture, made a note to learn more about Point Lookout, was reminded again that W.E.B Dubois was a genius, and finally learned that the monument to Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee was the first double equestrian monument in the country, I think–a nod to the art history buffs on the tour. Much to think about on the quick brisk ride home, eyes open in a different way.

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