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Road Tattoo Honors Soldiers And Their Children

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Volunteers worked from early in the morning to late in the evening this weekend to help paint Steed Taylor's 'road tattoo,' a public art tribute to the area's fallen soldiers.
Jessica Gould
Volunteers worked from early in the morning to late in the evening this weekend to help paint Steed Taylor's 'road tattoo,' a public art tribute to the area's fallen soldiers.

By Jessica Gould

An artist and a group of volunteers braved the heat this weekend to pay tribute to the area’s fallen soldiers with a new public art project.

When Hannah Lewis talks to her grandchildren, she tells them how much their father loved serving his country.

"He was honored to be a soldier. He was proud. The proudest I’ve ever seen him in his life," says Lewis.

Lewis’s son Darrell was killed three years ago in Afghanistan. But she says his legacy lives on, in the children he left behind. And in a new road tattoo on the 800 block of Vermont Avenue in Northwest, D.C. Tattoo artist Steed Taylor explains.

"What is a road tattoo? A lot of people ask me that," says Taylor. "If you think of how people mark their bodies to memorialize and commemorate something, it’s using the road the same way."

The public art project features a large Celtic knot and includes the names of the soldiers’ children. Lewis says it’s a fitting tribute.

"Because sometimes we feel that once they die, people go away," she says. "And it’s so important to remember those who have given their lives for myself and others to be free."

Artist Taylor says he’s painted between 30 and 40 road tattoos across the country.

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