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Archive for September 19th, 2011

It was on this day in 1881 that President James Garfield finally succumbed to wounds sustained on July 2. Charles Guiteau shot President Garfield while he was walking through a train station in Washington, D.C. The president survived the attack but infection set into the wound and he lingered, suffering, until his death in September. Garfield’s funeral monument is a grand structure in Lake View Cemetery that enshrines the dead president in an almost chapel-like setting, an interesting melding of the sacred and the secular. It is a tribute to a leader of a nation that espouses the separate of church and state as an ideal but borrows heavily from religious art and architecture.

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The facade is decorated with 5 reliefs of Garfield.

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Only a small section of the interior is open to the public: a center hall that sits above the crypt.  A larger-than-life statue of Garfield stands under the dome of a rotunda, decorated by mosaics and stained glass.

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