Washington DC Monuments and Memorials
The Most Popular Memorials in Washington DC
Whenever I think of Washington DC I think of the National Mall and all the sights around it. I lived in Washington DC for three years just four blocks south of the National Mall and I enjoyed spending
Washington DC Monument ToursBefore we get into the details of the monuments lets first talk about some Washington DC Tours around the monuments and memorials. The National Mall area which includes Smithsonian Museums and the Monuments and Memorials is about two miles long between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. It takes a lot of time and energy to walk the whole National Mall. Here is a Washington DC National Mall Map . So I wanted to mention several good Washington DC Tour Operators that have all day re-boarding near all the Monuments, Memorials and Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall. I provide links to these tour operators sites. Please read the fine print. Pay attention to where they stop, where you have to start your tour and how many days you can use the ticket for re-boarding. Also look at the times of the last pickups some are fairly early. Some Washington tour tickets can be used for one day and some can be used for two days for the same price. Sometimes it will save you a lot of money to find which tour operators let you re-board for two days, if you are planning to be in Washington DC for that long. Most two day tour tickets require that you use them on consecutive days. Tourmobile Sightseeing looks like it has 19 stops from Union Station near the Capitol to Arlington Nation Cemetary. They are officially authorized by the National Park Service and can stop right next to many of the Monuments and Memorials. Look at Tourmobile Sightseeing's one or two day unlimited on/off passes.Old Town Trolley Tours offers all day re-boarding and has several loops you can take. Old Town Trolley Tours also allows you to start you tour and get on at any on the 19 tour stops. Washington DC Hop-on-Hop-Off Open-Top Double-Decker Bus Tour they have 2 Day Unlimited On/Off the bus tickets bus starts from Union Station they have some seasonal courtesy hotel pickup. Please check the tour sites above directly for the exact details. Above I just mentioned the major hop-on and hop-off tour buses around the National Mall.. There are many other Washington DC tours around the area. These include the Monuments by Moonlight Tour, the DC by Foot Tour, the Ghost Tours of Georgetown and Ghost Tours of Alexandria, DC Ducks Tour, Segway Washington DC Tours, Washington DC Cruises on the Potomac, and various Washington DC Walking Tours. About.com has a nice page about these tours. Best Sightseeing Tours in Washington DC by About.com.
The Lincoln Memorial, designed by architect Henry Bacon, is located on the far west end of the National Mall in Washington, DC and was dedicated May 30, 1922 by Chief Justice William Howard Taft to honor the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Memorial is built from Yule Marble, Indiana Limestone and Colorado Marble. This Greek Doric style temple is 100 feet high, 119 feet wide and 190 feet long. There are 36 surrounding Doric columns representing the 36 states of the Union at the time of Lincoln's death. Inside the Lincoln Memorial is a 19 foot seated statue of President Abraham Lincoln which was designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French. The Gettysburg address and President Lincoln's second inaugural speech are engraved on the inside walls of the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial is run by the National Park Service and covers 107 acres. The Lincoln Memorial is bordered by Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue. The closest subway stop is Arlington Cemetery. You can also use the Foggy Bottom - GWU or the Smithsonian metro stops but they are farther away.
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World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial, designed by architect Friedrich St. Florian, is located on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The World War 2 Memorial was dedicated on May 29, 2004 by President George W. Bush to honor the 16 million Americans that served in the Armed Forces during World War II and the more than 400,000 Americans that died during that conflict. The memorial is built from granite with bronze statuary, wreaths and panels. The National World War II Memorial takes up the site of the old Rainbow Pool at the eastern end of the Reflecting pool on the National Mall. There are 56 granite pillars that represent the 48 United States from 1945 and the Territory of Hawaii, the Territory of Alaska, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. There are two 43 foot high arches that represent the Pacific Theater of war and the Atlantic Theater of war that are on opposite sides of the Rainbow Pool. The Freedom wall is on the western side of the memorial and features 4,000 gold stars representing the over 400,000 American that died in the conflict. The World War Two Memorial is run by the National Park Service and covers 7.4 acres. The National World War II Memorial is bordered by 17th Street to the East and the Reflecting Pool to the West. The closest subway stop is the Smithsonian Metro stop. You can also use the Arlington Cemetery Metro Stop and walk across Memorial Bridge.
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Arlington National Cemetery
The Arlington National Cemetery is not technically a Washington, DC Memorial since it is located in Virginia but it is just across the Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Memorial, and is one of the most visited U.S. Memorials. The Arlington Nation Cemetery was officially dedicated as a military cemetery June 15, 1864 by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Currently over 300,000 people are buried on the more than 624 acres in Arlington Cemetery. Veterans from all the nation’s wars are buried in Arlington National Cemetery, from the American Revolution ( moved to the site after 1900 ) to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Notable areas in Arlington National Cemetery include: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the grave of John F. Kennedy and his family, Arlington House (The Robert E. Lee Memorial), the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial located at the main entrance to Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Avenue. A visitor’s center, museum and gift shop is located on the south side of Memorial Avenue just before the main entrance gates. The Arlington National Cemetery is run by the United States Department of the Army and covers 624 acres. The Arlington Cemetery is across the Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The closest subway stop is Arlington Cemetery.
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Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was designed by architect Maya Ying Lin who said her idea was that “The names would become the memorial”. The Vietnam Memorial is located on the far west end of the National Mall just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The memorial was dedicated in 1982 and honors the U.S. servicemen and women who served in the Vietnam War (1959-1975). The Vietnam Memorial Wall is of polished black granite from Bangalore, India. The 58,209 names were gritblasted onto the walls. The two walls are a combined 493.75 feet long and range from 10.1 feet tall at the apex and around 8 inches tall at the two ends. One wall points to the Washington Monument and one wall points to the Lincoln Memorial. The Three Servicemen Statue, designed by Frederick Hart in bronze, depicts three racially diverse soldiers in military gear looking toward “The Wall”. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial, designed by Glenna Goodacre, was dedicated November 11, 1993 and honors the women of the U.S. Armed Forces who took part in the Vietnam War. Eight yellowwood trees are planted around the Vietnam Woman’s Memorial in honor of the eight servicewomen who died in the war. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is run by the National Park Service and covers 2 acres. The Vietnam Memorial is bordered by Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue. The closest subway stop is Arlington Cemetery. You can also use the Foggy Bottom - GWU or the Smithsonian metro stops but they are farther away.
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Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located on the far west end of the National Mall just south of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The Korean War Veterans Memorial honors the veterans of the Korean War (1950-1953). The memorial was dedicated on July 27, 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in 1953, by President Bill Clinton and President Kim Young Sam of South Korea. The Korean War Memorial has several areas. First the 19 stainless steel statues designed by World War II veteran Frank Gaylord. These 7 foot high statues represent a squad on patrol in full battle gear all moving toward an American Flag. To the south of the statues is a 164 foot black granite wall designed by Louis Nelson, that is sandblasted with around 2,500 images of service men and women who provided a supporting role such as medical, supply, fire support, and spiritual support to the frontline units. On the north side of the statues is the United Nations Wall that lists the 22 countries from the United Nations that provided supplies, troops, and medical support to help South Korea. Finally all the previously mentioned elements point to the Pool of Remembrance which is engraved with “Freedom is not Free”. The Korean War Memorial is run by the National Park Service and covers 2 acres. The Korean Veterans War Memorial is just south of the Lincoln Memorial on the west end of the National Mall. The closest subway stop is Arlington Cemetery. You can also use the Foggy Bottom - GWU or the Smithsonian metro stops but they are farther away.
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, designed by architect Lawrence Halprin, is located on the Potomac River Tidal Basin to the west of the Jefferson Memorial just off the National Mall in Washington, DC. The FDR Memorial was dedicated May 2, 1997 to honor the 32nd and longest serving United States President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945). The Roosevelt Memorial is constructed of red South Dakota Granite and is laid out in four outdoor rooms. Each of the four rooms represents one of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential terms. The first term room (1933-1937) introduces us to FDR and his “New Deal” response to the Great Depression. The second term room (1937-1941) takes us through the depths of the Great Depression including sculptures of bread lines, a man listening to the fireside chat and a rural couple. The third term room (1941- 1945) deals with the nation facing World War II and includes a large bronze statue of President Roosevelt seated with his dog Fala nearby. The fourth term room (1945) honors FDR’s legacy and life. A statue of Eleanor Roosevelt remembers her important role as First Lady and her later work as a United Nations Delegate. The FDR Memorial is run by the National Park Service and covers 8 acres. The Franklin Roosevelt Memorial is between Independence Avenue and the Potomac River on the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park next to the Jefferson Memorial. The closest subway stop is the Smithsonian Metro stop.
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Thomas Jefferson Memorial
The Jefferson Memorial, designed by architect John Russell Pope, is located on the south side of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park right off the National Mall near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial was dedicated April 13, 1943, on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's birth, by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to honor the Founding Father, writer of the Declaration of Independence and the 3rd President of the United States Thomas Jefferson. The Jefferson Memorial was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome and the Rotunda at the University of Virginia which Jefferson designed. The Memorial was built from Georgian white marble - interior walls, Danby Imperial marble - columns / exterior walls, Tennessee pink marble - interior floors, Indiana limestone - ceiling, and Missouri gray marble for the statue's pedestal. Inside the Jefferson Memorial is a 19 foot high standing bronze statue of President Thomas Jefferson which was sculpted by Rudolph Evans. On the interior of the Jefferson Memorial are inscriptions of Jefferson's writing and quotations that illustrate the principles of Jefferson's life. The Jefferson Memorial is run by the National Park Service and covers 18 acres. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is located on the south side of the Potomac River Tidal Basin close to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. The closest subway stop is the Smithsonian Metro stop.
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The Washington Monument, originally designed by Robert Mills and finished by Lieutenant Cornel Thomas L. Casey, is located on a hill in the middle of the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885, 36 years after it was started in 1848. The Washington Monument honors the Father of our Nation and the United States' first President George Washington. Fortunately, this simple Egyptian styled obelisk bears little resemblance to the ornate original colonnaded design of Robert Mills. The Washington Monument is built from white marble from Maryland and Massachusetts, with granite underlying the marble and supported by interior of ironwork. The Washington Monument is 555 feet 5-1/8th inches tall making it one of the world’s tallest masonry structures. It was the world’s tallest structure for about 4 years until the Eiffel Tower was finished in Paris France in 1889. There are 897 steps in the stairwell and the elevator takes you to the top in 70 seconds. The monument is about 55 feet wide at the base and around 34 feet wide at the top. The Washington Monument is run by the National Park Service. Washington Monument Tickets are required for visits inside the monument. These tickets are free for same day visits and can be acquired at the kiosk located at the bottom of the monument hill on 15th street. These tickets run out quickly. You can also get tickets online for a small fee at www.recreation.gov. The Washington Monument is bordered by Constitution Avenue to the North, 15th Street to the East and 17th Street to the West. The closest subway stop is the Smithsonian Metro Stop.
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