On Saturday, June 8, 2019, the community came together at the Park View Recreation Center to rally against gun violence. In my role of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, I was honored to be among the speakers – many of whom had personally lost loved ones to gun violence. I’m proud of how the community came together, especially our youth, to say enough is enough. We know that there are no easy answers, but we also know we can make a difference and put an end to gun violence in our neighborhood.
This morning, the @civilwardefensesofwashington led another great tour of Fort Reno in Tenleytown. While nothing remains of the earthenworks of Fort Reno, Ranger Steve again provided some great history as it related to the site as we walked around the grounds.
On May 30th, the true date of Memorial Day, I had the honor and privilege of joining the Sons of Union Civil War Veterans for a remembrance service to our deceased veterans at the Civil War Unknowns Monument at Arlington National Cemetery. I also had the honor of emceeing the event. Among the speakers were U.S. Navy Capt. (retired) Ed Gantt, representing the 23rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops, and Ken Serfass portraying Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant.
On May 29, 2019, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A hosted a panel discussion to address the recent increase in gun violence in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Panelists ranged from Paul Jones, President of the Columbia Heights Village Tenant Association, to Michelle Garcia, Director of the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, and from the Metropolitan Police Department to Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and Gregory Jackson of the Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement. Over 90 neighbors came out to hear from the panelists, ask questions, get answers, and learn what efforts are currently being made to reduce violence in the community. ANC1A is planning follow up event to continue the dialogue and take actions to build a stronger and safer community.
Just stopped by @mrbraxtondc to see how they are coming along with their renovations. Things are looking great — looks like a place where people will really enjoy spending time. I’m also excited to see that the space now has a real functioning kitchen! I’m looking forward to delicious food there soon. The mural on the back patio is wild, Love it.
Enjoying a beautiful Memorial Day with a tour of the Armed Forces Retirement Home Cemetery.
Moments to go before the wreath laying ceremony at General Logan’s tomb at the Soldiers’ Home Cemetery. Every Memorial Day, Logan’s mausoleum is open for visitors.
As the purpose of Memorial Day (Decoration Day) is for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, this seems a fitting time to remember my 3rd Great Grandfather, Michael Batdorf, who ranks among those who lost their lives while serving. Michael served as a private in Company H of the 93rd Illinois Infantry Regiment. He enlisted at Neponset, Illinois, and was mustered into service on October 13th, 1862, at Chicago, Illinois. The 93rd Illinois was part of the larger Army of the Tennessee, first commanded by Major General Ulysses S. Grant, and later by Major General William T. Sherman and others. The Army of the Tennessee was constantly fighting or campaigning and earned a reputation that was second only to that of the much larger Army of the Potomac. Serving with the 93rd Illinois, Michael was first engaged in the Vicksburg campaign, where General Grant commanded the Army of the Tennessee until after his victory there on July 4 1863. After taking Vicksburg, the Army of the Tennessee lay idle for a short time before the changing roles for the army and its leading figures evidenced themselves in the November 1863 victory achieved by a mixed Union forces in the Battles for Chattanooga. Unfortunately for Michael, as part of the Chattanooga campaign he was captured on November 25, 1863, at the Battle of Tunnel Hill on the northern end of Missionary Ridge, and became a prisoner of war. Upon his capture, Michael was sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia, officially known as Camp Sumter. Conditions at Andersonville were notoriously bad. It was overcrowded to four times its capacity, with an inadequate water supply, inadequate food rations, and unsanitary conditions. Of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners held at Camp Sumter during the war, nearly 13,000 died. The chief causes of death were scurvy, diarrhea, and dysentery. Michael Batdorf was among those victims, dying after being a prisoner for just over 8 months on August 3, 1864. He left behind his 28-year-old wife, Sarah, and three children – Mary, age 9, Benjamin, age 7, and Joshua, age 6.
Tonight PEPCO provided a community update on their Capitol Grid project. This summer, construction will be north of Euclid Street on sections of Sherman, Girard, 13th, and Harvard. Parking will be impacted during construction hours, but returned to residents use in the evenings and over night. All construction is to end by October 1st at the latest. It was great seeing our Ward 1 MOCR, Cynthia Turcios, there as well as PEPCO’s Travoris Culpepper.