The Memorials of Washington, DC

posted by Sharon August 5, 2018 33 Comments
Washington DC Memorials, Jefferson Memorial

Did you know that half of the 12 top-rated architectural wonders of the US can be found in one small area of the country? And the area can be covered on foot. This amazing concentration of fascinating and varied memorials is found in the center of Washington, DC. Run by the National Parks system, it is known officially as the Washington Mall and Memorial Parks.

Washington DC Memorials

Washington DC World War II MemorialWashington DC Memorials, Jefferson MemorialHere are the impressive memorials I was able to visit on our recent trip. Notice in the photos that often more than one of these is within view. You are surrounded by historical meaning and elegance.

The Washington Monument

Washington DC Washington MonumentThe obelisk seen from near and far is the tallest freestanding stone structure in the world, built to honor the country’s first president, George Washington. Construction began in 1848 but was interrupted due to war and political arguments. Look closely and you can see that a clear line where the color of the stone changes partway up. This marks the place where the first installment stalled and to continue, builders brought in stone from a different quarry. Wherever you are on the mall, you can see the Washington Monument soaring above the skyline. Washington DC Washington Monument

 

Washington DC Washington MonumentThe World War II Memorial

Washington DC World War II MemorialRight next to the Washington Monument is the appealing World War II Memorial. It honors the 16 million men and women who served overseas. Granite columns curve around a fountain and represent each of the states and territories at the time of war. A wall of 4,048 stars, each standing for 100 people, represents the more than 400,000 Americans who paid the price to win the war. The memorial built to celebrate the heroes of the Greatest Generation remains one of the most visited sites on the National Mall, with more than 4.2 million visits in 2014. Washington DC World War II Memorial

 

DSC02395Washington DC World War II MemorialWashington DC World War II MemorialThe Lincoln Memorial

Washington DC Lincoln MemorialWashington DC Lincoln MemorialContinue toward the Reflecting Pool from the World War II Memorial and you will have a long view of the iconic Lincoln Memorial. Inspired by ancient Greek Temples, at first all you see are the columns – 36 to represent the states in the US at the time of Lincoln’s death. As you draw closer, you will glimpse the great man seated in his chair. He sits looking out on the Mall of the government he worked so hard to preserve during the Civil War. The Gettysburg Address is inscribed on the wall beside him, and this quotation sums up the memorial: “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” Washington DC Lincoln Memorial

 

Washington DC Lincoln MemorialWashington DC Lincoln MemorialThe Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Washington DC Memorials, Vietnam MemorialDown a tree-lined path from the Lincoln Memorial, walk a short way and you will find the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. This is really two identical walls that are each 246 feet long. The black walls contain more than 58,000 names of those lost in this war. The names are listed in chronological order based on the date of casualty, with names for each day in alphabetical order. You can search online before you arrive to locate a name. Tributes of notes, flowers, and flags line the wall. These are cleared each night, so what you are seeing is the daily outpouring of honor. An unusual feature of this memorial is that visitors see their reflection in the wall imposed on the rows of names. The present and past are connected in this unique way. Washington DC Memorials, Vietnam Memorial

 

Make your way from the Mall west to the Tidal Basin, a man-made inlet off the Potomac River, and you will find three more memorials.

The Martin Luther King Memorial

Washington DC Memorials, MLK MemorialFirst, you will arrive at the Martin Luther King Memorial, the newest of the collection. Opened in 2011, the memorial is based on a line from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” which was delivered from the steps of the nearby Lincoln Memorial in 1963: “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” Two large pieces of granite stand behind the chunk taken from them to carve a likeness of Dr. King. The wall behind the granite is etched with quotations from his sermons, writings, and speeches. Washington DC Memorials, MLK Memorial

 

Washington DC Memorials, MLK MemorialThe Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

FDR is honored here as the longest-serving president of the US, as well as the leader who took the country through World War II. Outdoor rooms portray a scene from each of his four terms. Here is the third term art, which includes a sculpture of First Dog Fala. Washington DC Memorials, FDR Memorials

Washington DC Memorials, FDR MemorialsYou’ll also see bronzes depicting the fireside radio chats and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. With famous FDR quotations and waterfalls, the many parts of the FDR Memorial make an impressive experience. Washington DC Memorials

 

Washington DC MemorialsWashington DC Memorials, FDR MemorialsThe Jefferson Memorial

Washington DC Memorials, Jefferson MemorialA favorite of many, the Jefferson Memorial is stunning in its neoclassical architecture. Designed as a smaller version of the Pantheon in Rome, it was built in the 1920s. Inside stands an imposing Jefferson, shimmering in the sunlight. Inlaid in the walls are quotations from Jefferson, including his most famous document, the Declaration of Independence. Washington DC Memorials, Jefferson Memorial

Washington DC Memorials, Jefferson MemorialWashington DC Memorials, Jefferson MemorialWashington DC Memorials, Jefferson Memorial

Stand on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial and look out across the Tidal Basin for a stunning view, especially at sunset. Washington DC Memorials

Washington DC MemorialsOne More – The Korean War Memorial

We missed only one of the major memorials.  We reached this memorial in the dark as the skies opened with blinding rain. So I vaguely saw the shadowy figures, but I couldn’t get a photo. So I must return, right?!

One Way to Tour the Memorials

We enjoyed an evening bike tour of the memorials with Bike and Roll DC. Taking off at sunset, you pedal around the mall while an excellent guide fills you in on the history of each monument. A storm cut our tour short, but we would gladly book this again (even though they made us wear these dorky neon vests and helmets!). Washington DC

How about you? What memorials have you enjoyed visiting? Washington DC Memorials, FDR Memorials

Linking up with Image-in-ing, Monday Murals, Pictorial Tuesday, Wednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Photo Friday, Travel Photo Thursday, Weekend Wanderlust, Faraway Files, The Weekly Postcard, Wanderful Wednesday, Feet Do Travel, Weekend Wanderlust, Nanahood, and Weekend Travel Inspiration. Weekend Wanderlust

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PIN IT FOR LATER! Memorials of Washington DC, Exploringrworld.com

 

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33 Comments

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Su-sieee! Mac August 5, 2018 at 10:00 pm

The traveling exhibit of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall came to our town twice in the past 14 years. Seeing all the names was overwhelming. Just sad.

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rupam { xhobdo } August 5, 2018 at 10:25 pm

Great to read. Awesome pics.

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Ronita Kundu August 5, 2018 at 11:24 pm

Lovely photos! Your writing is very detailed. I could imagine walking on the streets while looking at the structures.

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin August 6, 2018 at 2:34 am

You’re making me miss DC so much! Gorgeous images.

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Carol August 6, 2018 at 6:01 am

Great post with so mant gorgeous photos!

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// Heidrun August 6, 2018 at 10:02 am

A interesting Post. I love to read about the history of each Country !

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Eileen Wise August 6, 2018 at 10:55 am

Hello, lots of familiar scenes. Since, I live in nearby Maryland we have visited many of the memorials in DC. Somehow I missed the cute First Dog statue. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and week ahead!

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Marie-OR August 6, 2018 at 12:50 pm

This brings back some wonderful memories of many past visits. We however have not been there since the WWII and Korean War memorials were erected and would love to see those! Wonderful post!

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Lady Fi August 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Amazing shots!

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betty - NZ August 6, 2018 at 11:22 pm

What a wonderful series of photos and great information!

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup August 7, 2018 at 3:17 am

DC is one of my favorite places to visit – so much history, and the buildings are so majestic.
Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/08/twin-fawns.html

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Jesh StG August 7, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Nothing matches George Washington – such an iconic statue. But right after that the Lincoln memorial. And one of my neighbors just visited the Vietnam memorial – just seeing the names is touching! Many thanks for sharing these war monuments with All Seasons -highly appreciated, Sharon!

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Esther August 8, 2018 at 6:45 am

This is a great post, I had no idea that there were so many lovely memorials in DC! I love your photos.
#WanderfulWednesdays

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Photo Cache August 8, 2018 at 7:26 am

A post that tempts everyone to visit. I for one am very tempted. Must plan a visit.

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Allison August 8, 2018 at 11:10 am

I loved touring the monuments in Washington, DC. My favorite was the World War II memorial. We spent the most time there by far. I’ve studied a lot about that time period so it was a good place to go to reflect and pay tribute.

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Emese August 8, 2018 at 1:17 pm

So much history there! I love your photos, Sharon! An evening bike tour sounds like a great way to tour all these monuments.

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Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid August 9, 2018 at 12:13 am

Thanks for the virtual tour – your pictures are fabulous! I love how the dog Fala got in on the action!

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Jill August 9, 2018 at 9:47 am

Washington is one of my favorite cities – and I think the memorials are so worth a visit! The last time that I was there was my first time to see the World War II memorial and the Korean War Memorial – which I think is so chilling, especially at night. We also took a nighttime tour which was quite cool – though ours was by bus not bike. Great photos, Sharon!

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Anna August 10, 2018 at 9:53 am

Washington DC is one of a few cities in the States that I was not able to visit yet! The memorials look fascinating indeed! Great Post! Pinned for the future!

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Katherine August 10, 2018 at 10:42 am

I had no clue that Washington DC had so many important monuments, although I guess it stands to reason considering it’s the capital. I think my favourite is the tribute to Martin Luther King. I love that they used parts of his speech to come up with the statue, it makes it all the more meaningful. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Samantha August 10, 2018 at 11:47 am

Great post! It makes me miss living in DC. I especially loved seeing these sights while the cherry blossoms were in bloom.

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Ericka @ A Quiet Girl's Musings... August 10, 2018 at 6:18 pm

I think my favorite memorial is the FDR. I love how it progresses over time and tells his story.

Visting from #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Jenn | By Land and Sea August 11, 2018 at 4:10 am

I love D.C. and all the cool memorials! No matter how many times I’ve gone here, I still love to go see all these great spaces. But, I have to admit, I haven’t been inside the Jefferson Memorial since I was little so I like seeing your pictures!

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Kelleyn August 11, 2018 at 6:11 am

I have seen most of them, but I would love to see the Martin Luther King exhibit.

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Anda August 11, 2018 at 8:11 am

I’ve been to Washington DC so many times and every time, yet never get bored of touring the National Monuments. My favorite one is the Lincoln Memorial.Thanks for this great tour. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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dorothyadele August 11, 2018 at 9:48 am

You did an excellent job of capturing Washington D.C. In addition to the landscape, water views, and monuments, I like the details in the bronze statues.

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Rhonda Albom August 11, 2018 at 5:17 pm

I love strolling the National Mall. I guess it should come as no surprise that so many of the structures are amongst the top rated in the US (I didn’t know that). I love your colourful photo of the Thomas Jefferson Statue inside the memorial.

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Sarah August 12, 2018 at 3:42 am

Absolutely gorgeous photo of that sunset! I can’t believe I haven’t been to DC yet.

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Agness of eTramping August 12, 2018 at 4:00 am

I haven’t been to Washington yet but when I do, I’ll definitely visit each one of these memorials. When would you recommend is the best time of the year to explore Washington?

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Tracy August 14, 2018 at 12:16 am

We loved visiting Washington and I would gladly go back to see it all again! We took a at tour from nyc so was a busy day and would love to spend more time seeing all the memorials!

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Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) August 14, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Sharon, we seem to have a mutual admiration for our nation’s capital! We love DC, but the two of us disagree over which monument “we” like best. Rob loves the World War Two Memorial, while Ann’s favorite is Jefferson. Of couse, he’s also her favorite historical character, so no surprise there. 😉 Great post – can’t wait to get to Washington again! Thanks for sharing on #WeekendWanderlust & #TheWeeklyPostcard!

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Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) August 16, 2018 at 4:39 am

Your photos brought me back to my awe-inspiring trip to Washington DC last year. My favorite was the Abraham Lincoln memorial at night. I like the idea of doing an evening bike tour of the Memorials. I would definitely try that on my next trip to Washington DC. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

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Angie (FeetDoTravel) August 16, 2018 at 5:17 pm

I love your suggestion of cycling to see these monuments! The Lincoln memorial is a must-see for me, and definitely Rosevelt, but as they are all within a small area, you may as well do as you suggested – cycle to see them all! Great list. #feetdotravel

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