One thing that should be included on any bucket list is a trip to see the national monuments and memorials in DC. The capital of the United States proudly boasts some of the most beautiful pieces of art and architecture that reflect a wealth of history and sacrifice to building the nation we know today. Even if your stay is short and you are just passing through, be sure to take in the sites. Every single monument and memorial is important in its own right, but let’s discuss just a few of our favorite suggestions for when your time is limited in this fantastic city.
The Lincoln Memorial
Situated at the west end of the National Mall stands a monument dedicated to the memory of the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Memorial honors arguably one of the greatest presidents in American history. The Greek-inspired architecture includes a massive statue of Lincoln and includes the inscriptions of his popular Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. This historic site was the backdrop of numerous speeches and rallies during the civil rights era. It is appropriately credited as a location that carries on Lincoln’s work to improving race relations and human equality. The memorial is conveniently located close to other popular monuments and memorials in DC, which makes touring so much easier when you’re short on time.
The Vietnam Memorial
The Constitution Gardens sit adjacent to the National Mall and is the location of the Vietnam Memorial. This site covers approximately two acres and is best known for the haunting wall with the engraved names of the service members that died or went MIA during the Vietnam War. The other parts of the memorial include the Three Soldiers and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. The memorial remembers the sacrifices of what is largely considered one of the most controversial wars in U.S. history. Public backlash and hatred for the military and government carried on for years before the stigma changed and the public slowly started respecting service members following the war. Looking beyond the politically charged rants and opinions behind the war are the names of those lost in service. The experience is humbling and is a must-see among the monuments and memorials in DC you choose to visit.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Martin Luther King Jr. is well-known as a leader of the civil rights movement. A memorial now stands in his honor not far from the National Mall. The Stone of Hope depicts a large granite carving of King at the time of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The MLK memorial spans four acres and took more than 20 years to complete. It stands out as one of the best monuments and memorials in DC. The site marks a time in American history that deserves reflection and gratitude.
World War II Memorial
The National Mall is an area full of popular monuments and museums in DC, and they are all within walking distance. The World War II Memorial sits between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The memorial honors the millions of Americans that served in World War Two. This war’s memory is unique for many reasons. It sadly stands out for the overwhelming amount of lives lost. However, it is also known as a time that sparked American determination and ingenuity. Civilian workers fought against the economic hardships of the Great Depression and worked in a variety of capacities to provide support for the armed forces. American unity and pride reached an all-time high, and the United States triumphed in victory thanks to countless sacrifices. It rightfully honors what many refer to as the greatest generation in American history.
Albert Einstein Memorial
The Albert Einstein Memorial in DC is a four-ton bronze statue of the infamous scientist’s likeness. It is different in style from many other monuments and memorials in DC. The statue depicts Einstein casually sitting with papers in hand and honors the memory of one of America’s—and the world’s—greatest minds. The bench beneath the statue is engraved with three of Einstein’s most popular quotes, and a celestial map sits at the base. It is truly a work of art and science that honors a mind so well-known for proving fact and theory. It doesn’t take much time, and it will be sure to leave a lasting impression.
There are many more sites to see in the area. These are just a few of our favorites if your time is limited and you are looking for things to do in Washington DC. Their close proximity means you will be able to maximize the number of monuments and memorials in DC you see as you travel from site to site. These spots will satisfy your historical appetite and will most assuredly leave you with a desire to come back and experience so much more that the city has to offer. Contact us today and we can help plan your custom trip to DC.