All Women's Talk

7 Must See Monuments in Washington DC ...

By Winnie

No visit to the US capital is complete without exploring the historic monuments in Washington DC. These prized monuments attract thousands of visitors each year. A key factor that drives this attraction has to do with the fact that the monuments provide a link between the past and present. Each monument tells a story and honors the milestones that the US has achieved as a nation. With that said, the idea of being in the presence of these larger than life structures is likely to spark the interest of travel lovers, history buffs and everyone in between. So let’s not delay, but instead, kick start this countdown of the must see monuments in Washington DC.

1 The Washington Monument

The Washington MonumentWhen it comes to visiting the National Mall, the Washington Monument is probably one of the first structures that come to mind. Standing 555 feet tall, this obelisk-shaped memorial was built in honor the first US president, George Washington. It is located between the US capital and another favorite, the Lincoln Memorial. To help preserve its visual appeal, a restoration project was initiated in 1998 and was completed in 2002.With all of its great features, it's easy to see why this memorial is one of the must see monuments in Washington DC.

2 The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln MemorialA personal favorite, the Lincoln Memorial is enriched with history, and is probably one of the most astounding structures in the national mall. The monument was built in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. In terms of its appearance, the memorial has distinct features reminiscent of ancient Greek architecture. This is evident with the huge columns preceding the 19 foot statue of the main attraction — a seated Abraham Lincoln. As iconic as the Lincoln Memorial may be, another reason for its popularity has to do with the fact that this was the location of Martin Luther King Jr’s "I have a Dream" speech.

3 The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. MemorialA fairly new addition, debuting in 2011, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is a noteworthy stop on any tour of the national mall. The memorial was built to highlight the accomplishments of this highly influential civil rights leader and consists of three structures. The centerpiece is a carving of Dr. King onto the Stone of Hope which is bordered by two large boulders. These boulders are remnants of the Mountain of Despair which was split in half to give way to the Stone of Hope. Full of inspiration, I know!

4 The Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson MemorialHow do you honor the draftsman of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States? The answer is simple! You built a memorial highlighting the contributions of the great Thomas Jefferson. This iconic dome-shaped monument was built to reflect features of the Pantheon of Rome and the University of Virginia rotunda (a structure designed by Jefferson). Like the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial also contains tall columns preceding a 19 foot statue of Thomas Jefferson. Another notable feature, is the inscription of the Declaration of Independence onto the interior wall, a classic final touch.

5 The World War II Memorial

The World War II MemorialWorld War II was without a doubt one of the most devastating events in history. A memorial remembering the brave individuals involved in the war is a great way to honor and acknowledge their great sacrifice. Located in the center of the National Mall, the World War II memorial consists of several defining features. First, are the 56 granite columns representing unity among each state, the seven federal territories and the District of Columbia. Second, is the Freedom Wall which has 4,048 Gold Stars paying tribute to the American causalities of WWII. Lastly, the memorial concludes with two 43 foot structures highlighting American victories in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II. A phenomenal sight to see!

6 The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans MemorialLike World War II, the Vietnam War was another dark time in history, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial serves to pay tribute to all American armed forces involved in the war. The memorial itself consists of three parts including the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Although separate, each feature of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial provides a significant way to invoke remembrance. I particularly like the idea that the role of women during this period of time is acknowledged.

7 The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt MemorialNow this is a truly beautiful memorial, and it includes a statue of a presidential pet. Bonus! The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial is unique due to the fact that it honors the only president that served more than two terms in office. The memorial is divided into four sections signifying the four terms served by this president. Additionally, the memorial includes 21 FDR quotes as well as statues and murals depicting major events that occurred during his presidency i.e. the great depression and World War II.

The National Mall in Washington DC consists of several must see monuments; each representing the contributions, achievements, and sacrifices of influential leaders and people in US history. Each monument offers a distinct insight to that specific time in history and allows you see how far the US has come as a nation. 7 great monuments were highlighted in this countdown, but what are some of your must see monuments? Did any of your favorites make the list?

Source: washington.org

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