11 FAMOUS WAR MEMORIALS THAT SHOULD BE ON EVERY BUCKET LIST
IntroductionNo matter your age or where you live, all Americans should know about their history. Visiting famous war memorials is a great way to learn more about the United States’s historically-rich past and pay homage to those who died fighting for everything we hold dear. Visiting some of our many war memorials will help you gain even more respect for military members past and present. They’ll also help you learn a lot along the way! Whether you’re ready to make a vacation of it and visit them all or you just want to visit a couple, the time to get out and see them is now.
Pro Tip -If you are planning on making this a road trip, make sure to check out our blog How to Plan Your Next Great American National Park Road Trip, and get tips on how to make this a fun and stress-free adventure. Make sure to include
Veteran and Military National Park passeson your list. Want to learn more about a specific memorial? Click on the link to jump right to it.
- Vietnam War Memorial, Washington, DC
- Korean War Memorial, Washington, DC
- World War II Memorial, Washington, DC
- DC War Memorial, Washington, DC
- American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, Washington, DC
- African American Civil War Memorial, Washington, DC
- World War I Memorial, Washington, DC
- Marine Corps War Memorial, McLean, VA
- Grosse Pointe War Memorial, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
- National Memorial Arch, King of Prussia, PA
- Honor the Fallen, Virtual
11 Famous War Memorials That Should Be on Every Bucket ListThe history of the United States can be told in the war memorials you see below. Each of these represents a vibrant piece of a long, winding tapestry that is part of your very history. There’s more to it, however. While the war memorials below are some of the most famous and captivating ones you can visit, there are a ton more out there that are also worth seeing. These are just a great starting place if you’re looking to check out a lot more in the near future.
1. Vietnam War Memorial5 Henry Bacon Drive NW Washington, DC 20002
Phone:1 (202) 426-6841 Also called the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, this memorial salutes those military members who fought and died during the Vietnam War from the time the U.S. entered the war in 1965 until its end in 1975. The most famous part of this memorial is “The Wall” as some have called it, which was dedicated in 1982. This wall of names includes a chronological list of the approximately 58,318 Americans (and counting) who died for their country. Also part of this Veterans war memorial site is a Vietnam Women’s Memorial for the nurses and other women who served during the war. This, as well as several of the following memorials, are located in Washington DC’s War Memorial Park. The Vietnam War Memorial is open to the public 24/7. So, if you want to honor this country’s heroes at 4 a.m. or at 10 p.m., you’re welcome to stop by.
2. Korean War Memorial900 Ohio Drive SW Washington, DC 20024
Phone:1 (202) 426-6841 The Korean War Memorial, DC, is a must-see. Also called the Korean War Veterans Memorial, it is located near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. It was dedicated in 1995 and has a Wall of Remembrance as well as 19 stainless steel statues. These commemorate the military members and allies who fought in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. This memorial is open 24 hours a day, every day.
3. World War II Memorial900 Ohio Drive SW Washington, DC 20024
Phone:1 (202) 426-6841 The World War II Memorial is located close to the Korean War Memorial. This memorial features bronze sculptures and stone architecture that work together to memorialize the 16 million members of the armed forces who fought to end tyranny abroad from 1939 to 1945. The World War II Memorial is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week (even on holidays).
More like this:10 Times Antiques Roadshow Proved WW2 Art is the Bomb
4. DC War Memorial900 Ohio Drive SW Washington, DC 20024
Phone:1 (202) 426-6841 The DC War Memorial is definitely worth checking out. This memorial is more specific in nature. It honors those military members who were from the District of Columbia. It is a beautiful white, stone, circular structure that was commissioned in 1919. In 2010, it underwent restoration thanks to a multi-million dollar donation. It features the names of military members who died in alphabetical order - regardless of rank. Since it is also part of the National Mall, it is open year round.
5. American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial900 Ohio Drive SW Washington, DC 20024
Phone:1 (202) 426-6841 Too many veterans have suffered life-altering disabilities as a result of their military service. As a salute to them, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial was dedicated in 2014. It honors both living and deceased disabled veterans. It also features a whole host of gorgeous scenery. This includes etched glass panel displays, a reflecting pool, a ceremonial flame, and a 2.4-acre tree grove.
6. African American Civil War Memorial900 Ohio Drive SW Washington, DC 20024
Phone:1 (202) 426-6841 More than 200,000 African Americans fought in the Army and Navy from 1861 to 1865 during the Civil War. These brave servicemembers paved the way to freedom for more than four million slaves. Their sacrifices to bring an end to the humanitarian crisis and better their country are forever honored in the African American Civil War Memorial.
7. World War I MemorialPershing Park Washington, DC 20045
Phone:1 (202) 426-6841 The newly-reopened World War I Memorial pays homage to those approximately 4.7 million Americans who served in The Great War. The memorial was originally dedicated in 1981, and its primary feature is a sculpture titled A Soldier’s Journey by artist Sabin Howard. The memorial also includes a peace fountain next to a wall. This wall has an inscription of a poem by three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Archibald MacLeish. The poem reads: “Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope Or for nothing, we cannot say, it is you who must say this They say we leave you our deaths, give them their meaning We were young, they say, we have died, remember us.”
8. Marine Corps War Memorial700 George Washington Memorial Parkway McLean, VA 22101
Phone:1 (703) 289-2500 In 1945, a group of Marines raised the American flag after a grueling battle at the top of Iwo Jima. The now-iconic image sent shockwaves through the country. It is only fitting that a statue of this image is the centerpiece for the Marine Corps War Memorial. This memorial recognizes all Marines who have died in any battle for their country as well as their comrades from other branches.
9. Grosse Pointe War Memorial32 Lake Shore Drive Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 Phone: 1 (313) 881-7511 Also called simply “The War Memorial,” Grosse Pointe War Memorial lives in Michigan. It has spaces that can be used as venues for weddings and social gatherings. However, its main focus is to “promote the ideals of democracy” and honor the “3,500 Grosse Pointers who served and the 126 who died in World War II.”
10. National Memorial Arch1400 North Outer Line Drive King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone:1 (610) 783-1000 The National Memorial Arch in Pennsylvania commemorates the Continental Army’s arrival in Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War, led by George Washington. Valley Forge was an encampment that housed military members during the winter of 1777-1778, for which many soldiers were ill-prepared. The Arch itself was inspired by Rome’s “Arch of Titus.” The National Memorial Arch was dedicated in 1917.
11. Honor the FallenVirtual Honor the Fallen is a virtual memorial dedicated to those who died during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn - all part of the War on Terror. You don’t even need to leave the house to learn more about these brave men and women who fought for freedom in the Middle East. This memorial is being updated in real time.
ConclusionWhile each of these war memorials may honor a different battle, they all represent the same things. They serve as a reminder of American strength, dedication, and freedom. We would highly suggest visiting all of these war memorials at some time in your life to pay respect to those who granted you your modern day freedoms as well as to reflect on what being American really means.
Learn more about how you can honor brave servicemembers by checking out our blog:Purple Heart Day: Honoring Courage & Devotion and POW/MIA Day: Honoring America’s Captured and Missing Have you visited any of these war memorials before? Let us know by sharing pictures on MyBaseGuide's Facebook or tag @mybaseguide on Instagram or @mybaseguide on Twitter.
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