Washington, DC is a city of monuments and memorials. We honor the generals, politicians, poets and statesmen who helped shape our great nation. Although the most famous monuments and memorials are on the National Mall, you will find statues and plaques on many street corners around the city. Since Washington, DC's monuments are spread out, it is hard to visit all of them on foot. At busy times, traffic and parking makes it difficult to visit the monuments by car. The best way to see all the monuments is to take a sightseeing tour. Many of the monuments are open late at night and their illumination makes nighttime a memorable time to visit them. Following is a guide to the most notable landmarks in the nation's capital. (listed in alphabetical order)
Take a Photo Tour of the Monuments
See a Map of the National Memorials
African American Civil War Memorial and Museum
1200 U Street, NW.
A Wall of Honor lists the names of 209,145 United States Colored Troops (USCT) who served in the Civil War. The museum explores the African American struggle for freedom in the United States. Museum is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Arlington National Cemetery
Across the Memorial Bridge from DC
This is America's largest burial ground with the graves of President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, world champion boxer Joe Louis and the Tomb of the Unknowns. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
DC War Memorial
National Mall, west of 17th St. and Independence Ave. SW.
This lesser known memorial commemorates the 26,000 citizens of Washington, DC who served in World War I. Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has been approved for $7.3 million to restore the memorial.
Between 4th and 6th Streets SW.
Plans are underway to build a national memorial to honor President Dwight D. Eisenhower on a four-acre site near the National Mall. The memorial will feature a grove of oak trees, huge limestone columns, and a semicircular space made monolithic stone blocks and carvings and inscriptions that depict images of Eisenhower’s life.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
West Potomac Park near Lincoln Memorial on Ohio Drive, SW
This memorial is divided into four outdoor galleries, one for each of FDR's terms in office from 1933 to 1945. Several sculptures depict the 32nd President. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
George Mason Memorial
900 Ohio Drive, in East Potomac Park, SW.
Monument to the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which inspired Thomas Jefferson while drafting the Declaration of Independence. Mason persuaded our forefathers to include individual rights as a part of the Bill of Rights.
Iwo Jima Memorial
Marshall Drive, next to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
This memorial, also known as the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, is dedicated to the marines who gave their lives during one of the most historic battles of World War II, the battle of Iwo Jima.
15th Street, SW
This dome-shaped rotunda honors the nation's third president. The 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson is located on the Tidal Basin, surrounded by a grove of trees making it especially beautiful during Cherry Blossom season in the spring. Hours are 8 a.m. to midnight daily.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Daniel French Drive and Independence Avenue, SW
Our nation honors those who were killed, captured, wounded or remain missing in action during the Korean War (1950 -1953). Nineteen figures represent every ethnic background. The statues are supported by a granite wall with 2,400 faces of land, sea and air support troops. A Pool of Remembrance lists the names of the lost Allied Forces. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
23rd Street between Constitution and Independence Avenues, NW
This memorial was dedicated in 1922 to honor President Abraham Lincoln. Thirty-eight Grecian columns surround a statue of Lincoln seated on a ten-foot high marble base. This impressive statue is surrounded by engraved readings of the Gettysburg address, his Second Inaugural address and murals by French painter Jules Guerin. Hours are 8 a.m. to midnight.
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