The Memorials on the National Mall

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by kwasiak on March 4, 2006

One afternoon we walked along the Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, visiting the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Korean Memorial along the way. We got to the Lincoln Memorial around sunset and had a beautiful view of the Washington Monument in the Reflecting Pond.

The World War II Memorial is the newest monument on the Mall, being dedicated on May 29, 2004. As you enter the Memorial from the main entrance, on the sides are reliefs with scenes from the war. The main feature of the memorial are the 56 pillars with the names of the US states and territories, along with District of Columbia, that helped in the war effort as part of the US contribution to the Allied Forces. The Memorial is amazing to see during the winter, though I imagine it is even more amazing during the summer, when the fountain is going.

The Vietnam Memorial is very touching, with its V-shaped black wall containing the names of those who died in what became a long and controversial war. Nearby are the two less-famous parts of the memorial, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Three Servicemen Statue.

The Korean Memorial is what my dad considers the most haunting memorial. The statues of soldiers are very lifelike, and due to the way they reflect in the wall, it appears that there are many more there.

The Lincoln Memorial is one of the main points of the D.C. compass being the west point of it. At the memorial, we read the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s Second Inauguration speech that are on the walls. My brother was most interested in how Lincoln’s hands are in the shape of ‘A’ and ‘L’ in American Sign Language. The sculptor’s son was deaf and made Lincoln’s hands signing Abraham Lincoln’s initials.

Two other memorials along the south side of the Mall are the DC War Memorial and the John Paul Jones Memorial. You can also detour south of the Mall and go to the FDR Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.

The closest Metro, if you start at the Washington Monument, is Smithsonian, served by the Blue and Orange Lines. If you start at the Lincoln Memorial, the closest Metro is Foggy Bottom, also served by the Blue and Orange Lines. I do not recommend Foggy Bottom, as some routes from there are not very handicap accessible and even for walkers there are places where you can barely fit on the sidewalk. I recommend that you start and end at the Smithsonian Metro and walk along the north side of the Mall one way and the south side on your way back.
National Mall & Memorial Parks
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Washington, D.C., United States, 20024
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