Must-See Monuments and Memorials in Washington, D.C.
What better time to visit our nation's capital than America's Independence Day? In the birthplace of the nation, you can walk through the footsteps of American history by day and be swept up in one of the country's best fireworks shows by night. When planning your trip's itinerary, you'll want to be sure to include these eight must-see memorials and monuments. If visiting these sites doesn't give you a shot of patriotic pride, nothing will!
A towering obelisk over the city of Washington D.C., the Washington Monument pays tribute to America's first president, George Washington. Reminiscent of ancient Egyptian obelisks, the Washington Monument stands 555 feet, 5 1/8 inches tall and is the tallest freestanding masonry structure in the world.
Fifty flags encircle the base of the Washington Monument, representing each of America's fifty states. Situated at the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 15th Avenue, the Washington Monument was constructed through private donations raised by the Washington National Monument Society during the mid 19th century.
The Monument, which sees 800,000 visitors each year, is open year-round, except December 25, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission, although you do need a ticket with an assigned time for your entrance. Free tickets are available at the kiosk on 15th Street and Madison Drive, on the monument grounds.
The Washington Monument is Metro-accessible (Smithsonian station on the Blue and Orange lines.) For more information, call the Visitors Information Center at (202) 426-6841.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Dedicated in 1997, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is the nation's newest presidential memorial. The multi-staged memorial honors the President who led America out of the Great Depression and through bitter victory in World War II.
Sitting astride 7.5 of garden acres in the heart of Washington, D.C. the FDR Memorial is comprised of four outdoor sculpture galleries -- one for each of FDR's four terms in office (1933 to 1945). Roosevelt was the only president elected four times. In 1951, the number of consecutive terms a president may serve was limited to two by the ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.
The FDR Memorial, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., is Metro-accessible (Smithsonian station on the Blue and Orange lines.) Admission is free.
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia
What better way to appreciate the bounty of being an American than to visit our nation's largest military cemetery? Arlington Cemetery is the final resting place for America's war heroes and veterans, U.S. Presidents Kennedy and Taft, Supreme Court Justices, astronauts, prominent explorers and major historical figures.
Also at Arlington is the Tomb of the Unknowns, which stands as a memorial to American servicemen and women who have died but whose remains were not identified. More than 4 million people visit the cemetery each year.
The cemetery, which is open year-round except for December 25, is Metro-accessible (Arlington National Cemetery station on the Blue line.) Admission is free. For more information, contact (703) 607-8052.
The Iwo Jima Memorial
Also known as the U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial is comprised of a 60-foot-high sculpture depicting the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of five U.S. marines raising the American flag over Iwo Jima, Japan.
The Iwo Jima Memorial pays tribute to all the American marines who have died in service of their country, from 1775 until the present. The moment captured by the sculpture served to be a seminal point in War World II: Iwo Jima led to end of the war against Japan in 1945.
The memorial site is Metro-accessible (Rosslyn Metro Station on the Orange and Blue lines.) The site is open daily, 24 hours a day.
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