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Monuments and Memorials

A guide of the monuments and memorials of Washington, D.C.

Lincoln Memorial
credit: The National Park Service
Lincoln Memorial

23rd Street and Constitution Avenue, NW West Potomac Park

Construction for the Lincoln Memorial began on February 12, 1914 and was dedicated by President Warren G. Harding on May 30, 1922.

Dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, this memorial is one of the most impressive sites in Washington.

The giant seated figure of Lincoln overlooks the Reflecting Pool, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol.  It looks distinctively dramatic in the night lighting.

Memorial walls are inscribed with passages from the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s second Inaugural Address.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
credit: Sara Oursler
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

West Potomac Park

Located on the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial.  The Entrance is on West Basin Drive

This memorial was dedicated to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) on May 2, 1997.  The FDR Memorial Commission was established by Congress in 1955 to plan and construct the memorial.  After several design competitions, final approval for the memorial was received in 1978.  Construction began in October 1994.  This memorial serves as a tribute not only to a man, but to a world-wide leader who brought America through the Great Depression and World War II and changed the course of the nation and the world.


Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial

Located at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.  Westbound Independence at 23rd Street, SW

In the early morning of June 25, 1950, only five years after the end of World War II, the communist government of North Korea launched an attack into South Korea.  Determined to support the world’s imperiled democracies, the United States immediately sent troops from Japan to join those already stationed in Korea; they fought with other nations under the U.N. flag.  One-and-a-half million American men and women struggled side by side during the conflict.

On October 28, 1986, Congress authorized the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish a memorial in Washington, D.C.  Ground was broken in November 1993, and the memorial was dedicated on July 27, 1995.


Washington Monument
Washington Monument

15th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, on the Mall

The cornerstone was laid July 4, 1848, and it quickly rose to 152 feet, however funds ran out in 1853.  It remained unfinished for nearly 25 years until President Ulysses S. Grant approved an act to authorize the federal government to complete the project in December 1884.  

The famous marble obelisk, honoring America’s first president, is the tallest structure in the nation’s Capitol and will remain so by law.  Elevators will take you to the top of th 555-foot monument for a spectacular view of the city.  Lines are usually long but move quickly.  


Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial

14th Street, SW, on the Tidal Basin

The monument was dedicated on April 13, 1943, marking the 200 year anniversary of Jefferson's birth, and the 4 year anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt laying the monument's corner stones.

 The Jefferson Memorial celebrates his architectural as well as governmental influence in America.  A 19-foot bronze figure of Jefferson dominates the interior, and the walls are inscribed with famous writings.  Included are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence.

Paddle boats may be rented nearby for a sea-level tour of the Tidal Basin.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial
credit: National Park Service, NCR Photo (William Clark)
Vietnam Veterans Memorial

21st Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Constitution Gardens

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors the men and women of the armed forces that served in the Vietnam War.  The names of more than 58,000 who gave their lives or remain missing are listed in the chronological order that they became casualties, on the black granite panels.  

The ground was formally broken on March 26, 1982, and the memorial was dedicated on November 23, 1982.


Women's Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Women’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial

21st Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Constitution Gardens

Congress created the Vietnam Woman’s Memorial Project on November 15, 1988 for the purpose of honoring “women of the Armed Forces of the United States who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era.”  The memorial was dedicated on November 11, 1993.


Iwo Jima Memorial
Iwo Jima Memorial

George Washington Parkway and I-66 Arlington

This memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of the United States since 1775.  This statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II and it stands as a symbol of this nation’s esteem for the honored dead of the U.S. Marine Corps.


U.S. Navy Memorial
credit: David Jonas
The United States Navy Memorial

Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between 7th and 9th Streets.  

This memorial honors the men and women of the United States Navy, and centers on a circular plaza bearing the world’s largest map of the world.  A seven-foot statue called the “Lone Sailor” stands on the map and represents all who have served or will serve in the Navy.  The visitor’s center contains impressive artwork, a ship’s store, and an interactive video display of every ship and aircraft in the Navy.


Arlington National Cemetery
credit: Senate Photography Studio
Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial Drive, Arlington, Virginia

Here is the final resting place of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, and airmen.  Including the grave of celebrated General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, and the tomb of the unknown soldier with its precision-drill honor guard.  

President John F. Kennedy is buried here, his grave adorned with an eternal flame. Nearby is the grave of the his brother, Robert F. Kennedy.  

Arlington House, the home of Civil War General Robert E. Lee, crowns the hill.  

On October 18th, 1997, the “Women in Military Service for America” memorial was dedicated and became the nation’s first major memorial honoring all women who served and will serve in defense of the United States.  The memorial is located at the ceremonial entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.



The Smithsonian Institution provides visitors to Washington with culture, history, and heritage with museums, events, and festivals.  Visit their Web site for more information.  (this will take you outside senate.gov)

The D.C. Heritage Tourism Coaltion is dedicated to showcasing the cultural attractions and special events in Washington to visitors from across the globe.  Go to their site for more information (this will take you outside www.senate.gov).

Washington.org is the perfect site for visitors new to Washington, D.C.  Check out their site! (this will take you outside senate.gov)

Click here for more information on the federal government from Firstgov.gov, "your first click to the US Government."