From the Iwo Jima Memorial to the African American Civil War Museum, the D.C. area offers numerous sites for those who wish to pay their respects to U.S. military members. Check out where you can do so in the map below.Read More
17 military monuments, museums, and memorials in the D.C. area
Where to honor U.S. veterans and service members in and around the nation’s capital
1. U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima)
This statue in Arlington, Virginia, is based on an iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph. The photo, by the Associated Press’s Joe Rosenthal, shows a group of six Marines raising an American flag in Iwo Jima, a small island 660 miles south of Tokyo, in 1945. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the 78-foot-tall memorial, in 1954, to all U.S. Marine Corps personnel who have died defending the U.S.
2. Women In Military Service For America Memorial
At the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, this memorial honors the women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. In 1997, it was dedicated with a candlelight march across the Arlington Memorial Bridge, America's first all-female flyover of military aircraft, and speakers including former Vice President Al Gore.
3. United States Air Force Memorial
American architect James Ingo Freed designed this memorial to the U.S. Air Force in Arlington, Virginia. It was unveiled in 2006 and depicts the contrails of Air Force Thunderbirds in a “bomb burst” maneuver. The spires, which range in height from 201 feet to 270 feet, are made of stainless steel.
4. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The names of over 58,000 Americans who were killed or went missing during the Vietnam War are carved into this 246-foot-long memorial's black granite walls. It was designed by prominent American architect Maya Lin and debuted in 1982. Visitors regularly leave items like flowers and flags at the site.
5. Vietnam Women's Memorial
Along the National Mall, this memorial was established in 1993 to honor the U.S. women who served in the Vietnam War. The structure, designed by Glenna Goodacre, shows three uniformed women with an injured soldier.
6. Korean War Veterans Memorial
In 1995, this memorial was dedicated to the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the Korean War. The memorial, located near the Lincoln Memorial, depicts 19 stainless steel statues wearing ponchos. They are about 7 feet tall each and surrounded by juniper bushes.
7. District of Columbia War Memorial
Erected in 1931, this 47-foot-tall memorial contains 499 names of D.C. residents who lost their lives in World War I. In the memorial’s cornerstone, there is a list of the 26,000 D.C. residents who served in the war. The structure is supported by 12 Doric marble columns.
8. Navy - Merchant Marine Memorial
Located in Lady Bird Johnson Park on the west banks of the Potomac River, this memorial depicts seven seagulls directly above a wave. The 35-foot-tall structure, nicknamed “Waves and Gulls” and dedicated in 1934, has an inscription honoring those who served in the Navy.
9. World War II Memorial
This memorial on the National Mall was dedicated in 2004 for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. It features 56 pillars and two triumphal arches that surround a fountain. The original “Rainbow Pool” on the site was integrated into the memorial.
10. National Museum of American Jewish Military History
Founded in 1958 to document the history of Jewish Americans in the U.S. military services, this museum in Dupont Circle offers two floors of exhibitions as well as the Captain Joshua L. Goldberg Memorial Chapel.
11. African American Civil War Museum and Memorial
This museum along the U Street NW corridor opened in 1999 to commemorate the more than 209,000 African Americans who fought for the Union during the Civil War. A memorial statue called “The Spirit of Freedom” is located directly across the street from the museum.
12. Old Soldiers’ Home
This national historic landmark was built in 1851 as an “asylum for old and disabled veterans.” President Abraham Lincoln lived on site during the Civil War and ultimately spent a fourth of his presidency there. Lincoln’s Cottage opened to the public in 2008.
13. United States Navy Memorial
On Pennsylvania Avenue NW, this round, granite site in the style of an amphitheater features fountains, flagpole masts, and sculptural panels. The memorial was dedicated in 1987 and displays the historic achievements of the U.S. Navy. There’s also a statue of a lone sailor near the edge of the plaza.
14. National Guard Memorial Museum
This is the first and only national museum dedicated to the U.S. National Guard. Through artifacts and dioramas, the NoMa museum explores the National Guard’s over 375 years of history. It opened in 1976.
15. American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
In 2014, this memorial was dedicated to veterans living with permanent disabilities. The site features 48 etched glass panels with soldiers' stories as well as a reflecting pool, a star-shaped fountain, and a ceremonial flame. It also has bronze sculptures, a tree grove, and granite walls with inscriptions of presidential quotes.
16. Grand Army of the Republic Monument
Washington, D.C. 20004
This memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue NW honors Benjamin F. Stephenson, the founder of a fraternal organization for Union veterans, known as the Grand Army of the Republic. At 25 feet high, it was dedicated in 1909 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
17. Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
Washington, D.C. 20024
Completed in 1924, this memorial depicts U.S. president and Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant on a horse, surrounded by lions guarding him on shorter pedestals. The memorial also depicts artillerymen, additional horses, and seven cavalrymen, all in bronze. Sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady and architect Edward Pearce Casey created the artwork.