If you are ever visiting the Washington DC area, apart from the famous national monuments and museums that are free to the public, there is also a collection of memorials devoted to those men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Among the most familiar war memorials in our nation’s capital are the Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, United States Air Force Memorial, the District of Columbia War Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
Aside from the Air Force Memorial and the Marine Corps War Memorial, which are across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, the other four previously mentioned memorials are all located on the National Mall and could be visited in a single day.
The huge National Mall stretches from the Lincoln Memorial on the western border to the United States Capitol on the eastern border, over a distance of about one mile. However all of the major United States military memorials in Washington DC, are west of the Washington Monument with the exception of the US Navy Memorial and the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum. The war memorials on the National Mall and are relatively close to each other and easy to locate. It has been estimated that over 25 million people visit this area each year with many of them paying homage to loved ones or family members who have lost their lives while protecting our country.
This article briefly points out three of the important war memorials in Washington DC: the United States War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial.
Perhaps the most iconic of the aforementioned memorials is the Marine Corps War Memorial, with the huge statue depicting United States Marines raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima. The statues of the six Marines are over 30 feet tall and the memorial is a fitting tribute to those Marines who have served our country since 1775.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is considered amongst the top ten favorite structures in the United States. The Memorial Wall is the most prominent of the three structures of the site. The Wall, which stretches nearly 500 feet, contains the names of all of the 58, 272 American service men and women who died during the unpopular war, with over a 1,000 of them considered MIAs or POWs. The Wall Memorial is also dedicated to the 2.7 United States military men and women who served during the Vietnam War. The two other displays at the memorial are not as familiar as the Wall Memorial but important nonetheless. One display features three bronze statues of soldiers and simply known as “The Soldiers” and the other display honors the women who served in Vietnam, known as the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.
Across the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is the Korean War Memorial. This tribute displays 19 seven-foot tall statues of American soldiers who served during that war. The statues (see photo) are a moving tribute to the Korean War and the struggles that occur during combat. The statues, along with a Memorial Wall and the Pool of Remembrance honors men and women who served during the Korean War, particularly to those 54,246 who died during the war.
If you can ever make it to our nation’s capital, please try to find the time to pay tribute to the countless lives that fought for our country.