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A Guided Tour Through D.C.'s Notable War Memorials

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[Photo by Fred Schroeder]

Most Memorial Day weekend plans probably include barbecues or mini-vacations, but why not spend at least a little reflection as to why everyone has Monday off in the first place. Memorial Day, while originally an homage to the servicemen who died in World War I has come to encompass a day of gratitude for all past and current citizens in uniform. Since we are the Nation's Capital, there are no shortage of War Memorials throughout the city for the everything from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War. There are even several for various outstanding officers. After the jump, you'll find a map of twelve particularly outstanding memorials from the popular to the obscure and incomplete.


· Monuments And Memorials In Washington, D.C. [Wikipedia]
· All Hidden Memorials [CDC]

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1. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Ohio Dr SW
Washington DC, D.C. 20242

This tribute to all of the soldiers that lost their lives in Vietnam is so popular that there was a replica of the monument opened on Georgetown's campus while the real one was under renovation. Photo by Flickr user tinch72.

2. Korean War Veterans Memorial

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West Potomac Park
Washington DC, D.C. 20024

This memorial is surprisingly overlooked considering its position in West Potomac Park, but for that matter, the Korean War is often overlooked by history. This sobering and creepy memorial has an instantaneous and lasting affect on the viewer. Photo by Fred Schroeder.

3. World War II Memorial

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West Potomac Park
Washington DC, D.C. 20024

This enormous tribute to the second world war is not the most popular homage between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, but with its fountain and pillars commemorating all fifty states, it is rather hard to miss. Photo by Ron Cogswell.

4. National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in WWII

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27-49 Louisiana Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

This memorial doesn't just celebrate the patriotism of the Japanese-Americans who fought in World War II. In addition to seeing inscriptions of those battles, there are also inscriptions of the names of the internment camps in which Japanese-American citizens were placed during the war. Photo by Flickr user Elizabeth.

5. African American Civil War Memorial

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1925 Vermont Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

This memorial to the United States Colored Troops (USCT) in the Civil War was deemed obscure although it's one of two memorials on this map attached to a metro stop.

6. American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

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at "Washington Ave SW". "btw "C St SW", "Second St
Washington DC, D.C.
(800) 331-7590

This is the only memorial on the list that has actually not yet been completed. However, the awkwardly named memorial actually broke ground several years ago. This photo by Tim Evanson is only from last month.

7. USS Maine Memorial - Cuban American Friendship Urn / Monumento A Las Victims Del "Maine"

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Ohio St SW
Washington, D.C.

This memorial has a very strange history. The monument to fallen American sailors off the coast of Cuba was gifted to President Coolidge in 1928 but mysteriously disappeared for several decades during the height of U.S./Cuba tensions. Photo by Flickr user cliff1066™.

8. District of Columbia World War I Memorial

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1964 Independence Ave SW
Washington DC, D.C. 20037

This Memorial is also hidden in plain sight. Although it's in West Potomac Park, it's off to the side in the trees. This is a commemoration to the D.C. residents that lost their lives in World War I. Photo by Flickr user VGM8383

9. First Division Monument

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17th St. NW & State Pl. NW
Washington DC, D.C.

This tower in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building was originally built (with no federal money) to celebrate the U.S. Army's First Infantry Division's work in World War I. However, there have been modifications to honor their work in subsequent wars. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC.

10. Second Division Memorial, Flaming Sword Monument

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Constitution Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C.

This is not only an interesting item because it is a literal flaming sword, but also because it has undergone updates. Originally, this was just meant to honor the U.S. Army's Second Division in World War I, but additions have been included to celebrate their work in World War II and the Korean War. Photo by Flickr user Matt.

11. United States Navy Memorial

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701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004

This is another war memorial attached to a Metro station (and a Green line station at that). There are several quotes from famous naval officers around the memorial. No, the fountain water is no longer blue. Photo by Larry Miller.

12. Nuns of the Battlefield Monument

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This is another relatively hidden commemoration, although it's right by all of the Dupont Circle traffic. As its title states, it honors the nuns who cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Photo by Ron Cogswell.

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1. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Ohio Dr SW, Washington DC, D.C. 20242

This tribute to all of the soldiers that lost their lives in Vietnam is so popular that there was a replica of the monument opened on Georgetown's campus while the real one was under renovation. Photo by Flickr user tinch72.

Ohio Dr SW
Washington DC, D.C. 20242

2. Korean War Veterans Memorial

West Potomac Park, Washington DC, D.C. 20024

This memorial is surprisingly overlooked considering its position in West Potomac Park, but for that matter, the Korean War is often overlooked by history. This sobering and creepy memorial has an instantaneous and lasting affect on the viewer. Photo by Fred Schroeder.

West Potomac Park
Washington DC, D.C. 20024

3. World War II Memorial

West Potomac Park, Washington DC, D.C. 20024

This enormous tribute to the second world war is not the most popular homage between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, but with its fountain and pillars commemorating all fifty states, it is rather hard to miss. Photo by Ron Cogswell.

West Potomac Park
Washington DC, D.C. 20024

4. National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in WWII

27-49 Louisiana Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20001

This memorial doesn't just celebrate the patriotism of the Japanese-Americans who fought in World War II. In addition to seeing inscriptions of those battles, there are also inscriptions of the names of the internment camps in which Japanese-American citizens were placed during the war. Photo by Flickr user Elizabeth.

27-49 Louisiana Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

5. African American Civil War Memorial

1925 Vermont Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20001

This memorial to the United States Colored Troops (USCT) in the Civil War was deemed obscure although it's one of two memorials on this map attached to a metro stop.

1925 Vermont Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

6. American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

at "Washington Ave SW". "btw "C St SW", "Second St, Washington DC, D.C.

This is the only memorial on the list that has actually not yet been completed. However, the awkwardly named memorial actually broke ground several years ago. This photo by Tim Evanson is only from last month.

at "Washington Ave SW". "btw "C St SW", "Second St
Washington DC, D.C.

7. USS Maine Memorial - Cuban American Friendship Urn / Monumento A Las Victims Del "Maine"

Ohio St SW, Washington, D.C.

This memorial has a very strange history. The monument to fallen American sailors off the coast of Cuba was gifted to President Coolidge in 1928 but mysteriously disappeared for several decades during the height of U.S./Cuba tensions. Photo by Flickr user cliff1066™.

Ohio St SW
Washington, D.C.

8. District of Columbia World War I Memorial

1964 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, D.C. 20037

This Memorial is also hidden in plain sight. Although it's in West Potomac Park, it's off to the side in the trees. This is a commemoration to the D.C. residents that lost their lives in World War I. Photo by Flickr user VGM8383

1964 Independence Ave SW
Washington DC, D.C. 20037

9. First Division Monument

17th St. NW & State Pl. NW, Washington DC, D.C.

This tower in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building was originally built (with no federal money) to celebrate the U.S. Army's First Infantry Division's work in World War I. However, there have been modifications to honor their work in subsequent wars. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC.

17th St. NW & State Pl. NW
Washington DC, D.C.

10. Second Division Memorial, Flaming Sword Monument

Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C.

This is not only an interesting item because it is a literal flaming sword, but also because it has undergone updates. Originally, this was just meant to honor the U.S. Army's Second Division in World War I, but additions have been included to celebrate their work in World War II and the Korean War. Photo by Flickr user Matt.

Constitution Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C.

11. United States Navy Memorial

701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20004

This is another war memorial attached to a Metro station (and a Green line station at that). There are several quotes from famous naval officers around the memorial. No, the fountain water is no longer blue. Photo by Larry Miller.

701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004

12. Nuns of the Battlefield Monument

Washington DC, D.C. 20036

This is another relatively hidden commemoration, although it's right by all of the Dupont Circle traffic. As its title states, it honors the nuns who cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Photo by Ron Cogswell.