• A Nomad's Guide to the Planet

United States War Memorials

Updated: Aug 9

Location: Washington, D.C.

World War II Memorial

Overview: Comemorations of Veterans

The United States War Memorials, located near the National Mall, are a collection of national monuments in remembrance of those who served in the armed forces and were killed in a wide range of wars. No trip to the Capital would be complete without a visit to some of the nation's most elegant and meaningful monuments. Included in this site is the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Korean War Veterans Memorial.


World War II Memorial


The World War II memorial, dedicated in 2004, is situated on the opposite side of the reflection pool than the Lincoln Memorial. With a fountain in the center, the World War II Memorial is a circular arrangement of 56 columns with the name of each current state or territory inscribed on the front in memory of each state's sacrifices during this tumultuous time in history. Additionally, there are two triumphal arches located on the north-south axis  in reference to both the Atlantic and Pacific fronts of the war as well as a wall of 4,048 stars each of which represents 100 Americans killed during the war.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial


Comprising three distinct components, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located just north of the Lincoln Memorial. The Three Soldiers Monument is a statue commemorating the different ethnicities fighting in the war. Established in 1993, the Vietnam Womens Memorial celebrates the role of women in the war effort and their sacrifices. The primary portion of the memorial is the Wall of Names which lists the over 58,000 names of Americans killed in action in Vietnam or whose wounds sustained in Vietnam led directly to his or her death. With one wall pointing towards the Washington Monument and the other towards the Lincoln Memorial, The Wall of Names is dug into the earth and begins short, gradually increases in height, and then decreases height again.


Korean War Veterans Memorial


Finally, the Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates the Korean War and those lost in the conflict. The Korean War memorial is located just south of the reflecting pool and features 19 statues representing a platoon. In a V formation surrounding the platoon statues, the Mural Wall contains 2,500 etched photographic images and a pool of remembrance is located at . Each of these three beautiful monuments are a testament to the country’s perils and sacrifices made in times of crisis.


Travel Recommendations


In addition to the war memorials list above, there is a monument for World War I currently under construction in Pershing Park just east of the White House and is expected to be completed in 2021. Many of these monuments and others surrounding the National Mall are best to visit during the evening or towards dusk when the monuments are alight and the daytime crowds dissipate. Not only does the light show at night produce a unique experience, it is also much easier for visitors to peacefully reflect on the monuments and what they signify without the interference of large tour groups. This collection of Washington War monuments are nearly adjacent to each other; therefore, travel between them is short and visitors can go through them at his or her own pace.

1750 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

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