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Top 5 Washington DC War Memorials

Washington DC is home to many memorials honoring the brave men and women who served the US Armed Forces throughout history.

By John LimboPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
Top 5 Washington DC War Memorials
Photo by Sonder Quest on Unsplash

Some of the most famous landmarks of Washington Dc are its monuments and memorials dedicated to the men and women who founded and served the nation. Many of us are very familiar with the many Presidential monuments located around the capital city of the United States. However, over the centuries, many brave men and women served the country and sacrificed their lives in defense of the nation’s freedom and democracy. It is only fitting that they too are honored with memorials and monuments at the political center of the United States of America. In and around Washington DC, many sites were dedicated and consecrated to commemorate the sacrifice and valor of the United States armed forces and other uniformed personnel. By visiting these military and war memorials in Washington DC, we can have a deeper appreciation for the freedom and democracy we are continuously enjoying up to this day.

By Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández on Unsplash

The Iwo Jima Memorial

The Iwo Jima Memorial is one of the most iconic memorials in the DC Metro area. It is actually across the river in Arlington Virginia. So it's not technically in DC. The World War II battle to overcome the Pacific Island of Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest in American history. From February 19 to March 26th of 1945, Americans fought Japanese forces until achieving a victory famous to most people because of the iconic photo by Joe Rosenthal. The Iwo Jima Memorial, or officially the Marine Corps War Memorial, illustrates the 6 Marines raising a United States flag atop Mount Suribachi throughout the battle on the island. The bronze figures of the soldiers are 32 feet high while the flagpole is 60 feet high. Two of the enduring Marines in the historical flag-raising moment designed for their statues' faces. Every battle where the Marines fought, their dates and places, are inscribed in gold letters forming the upper rim of the refined black granite base. One of the sayings engrave on its base is ‘Uncommon valor was a common virtue.’ The monument not only honors those who fought the Second World War but also the entire Marine Corps past and present who fought for freedom and democracy.

By Brittany Colette on Unsplash

The Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial in memory of those who fought to contain the communist expansion of North Korea, the black granite wall of this Memorial depicts archival imagery of the sailors, soldiers, and pilots who served in the war in the center of this triangular memorial amongst Juniper bushes, you'll find 19 stainless steel statues. Their impeccable detail brings humanity to the various military branches they're intended to represent. The mural wall is extended to intersect the circular Pool of Remembrance, located at the apex of the triangle-shaped memorial. An impactful message, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE, in 10-inch silver letters is composed at the end of the wall converging the swimming pool. It functions as a pointer of the sacrifice that the soldiers spent for the freedom that we enjoy today.

By Dan Dennis on Unsplash

The World War II Memorial

This grand memorial brings tribute to those who fought in the Second World War. And includes an inspiring central fountain, elegant granite columns, and artfully sculpted bronze panels depicting scenes from the war dedicated with reverence to America's greatest generation. From the eastern side, there is a rectangular ritualistic entranceway resulting in an elliptical pool with water fountains and waterjets. On both sides of the entryway are balustrades bearing bas relief sculptures portraying iconic scenes of the war experience. The northern side represents the war in Europe, while the south side is for the Pacific. On either side of the swimming pool is a triumphal arch symbolizing the victories on the two fronts - the Atlantic and the Pacific. Along with the arches, 56 pillars form a semi-circle around the fountain representing the 48 states, the District of Columbia, and 7 federal areas that fought side-by-side throughout the war. On the western side of the plaza, a Freedom Wall was raised to honor the more than 400,000 men and women who craved the price of liberty. They are represented by 4,048 stars in the wall, one star for every single 100 Americans who compromised their lives. It is an achievement of memorial style and design

By Katherine Grace on Unsplash

The Vietnam War Memorial

This Memorial was built to honor the 2.7 million members of the US military who served in the war zones during the conflict. Constructed of two walls inscribed with the names of the dead and those missing in action. The shape of the memorial is meant to symbolize a wound that has closed and healing opposite. The Memorial. You'll find the haunting statues of three soldiers looking on with solemn regard. Across the wall is the bronze statue of The Three Servicemen, recognizable as a European American, a Black American, and a Hispanic American. Solemnly looking towards the wall, the Three Servicemen appear to commemorate their fallen pals. A little south of the wall is a fitting homage to the ladies, the majority of them are nurses, who served in the Vietnam War. It powerfully functions as a remembrance of the important role that females played during the dispute.

By Philippa Rose-Tite on Unsplash

Arlington Cemetery

Located in Arlington Virginia, this expansive cemetery stands as a Memorial to the lives of thousands of military service members. Visitors can easily use kiosks in the welcome center to find their relatives and loved ones they came to honor on their visit. The grounds of Arlington inspire a sense of gratitude and respect, providing a few moments to reflect on the brave men and women who have served our nation. During specific times of the day, guests can witness the ceremonial changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Within the grounds of the cemetery is the Arlington House, sat atop of a hill that gives a good vantage point of Washington DC and the surrounding suburbs.


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