By Emily Lefler
If you find yourself around the nation’s capital this Summer, here are 12 different war memorials near Washington, D.C. that you can visit to reflect on the sacrifices that our service members have made for generations to keep our country safe.
1. Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the millions of Americans and allied partners who fought during the Korean War. Within the memorial are 19 statues representing a platoon, with U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force military branches included.
2. The World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial is a tribute to the 16 million who served in the U.S. armed forces, honoring more than 400,000 who bravely died, and commemorating everyone who supported the war effort on the home front.
3. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial
The Vietnam Women’s Memorial was established in remembrance of the women who risked their lives to serve our country. The memorial portrays two women caring for a fallen soldier, and is the first memorial in Washington, D.C. honoring women’s military service.
4. United States Marine Corps War Memorial
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial is dedicated to “the Marine dead of all wars and their comrades of other services who fell fighting beside them.” The memorial was inspired by the iconic photograph of six Marines raising a U.S. flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
5. The United States Air Force Memorial
This memorial is dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served in the United States Air Force, as well as its predecessor organizations. The USAF Memorial was designed to represent the history of air and space aviation, the advent of manned flight, and the sacrifices our Airmen made.
6. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors the 58,000 U.S. soldiers who died or went missing while serving in the Vietnam War. Visitors to the memorial often take a piece of paper and place it over a name on the wall and rub a pencil over it as a memento of their loved ones
7. The Navy – Merchant Marine Memorial
The Navy – Merchant Marine Memorial is a monument honoring the sailors of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Merchant Marine who died at sea during World War I. The memorial consists of seven gulls above the crest of a wave, symbolizing the sacrifices made during naval warfare.
8. The National Museum of American Jewish Military History
The National Museum of American Jewish Military History documents, preserves and educates the public about the courage, heroism and sacrifices made by Jewish Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces. The museum honors and remembers the Jewish American casualties suffered during U.S. military conflict.
9. The African American Civil War Memorial
The African American Civil War Memorial commemorates the military service of hundreds of thousands of Civil War-era African American soldiers and sailors, including those who sacrificed their lives during the war.
10. The United States Navy Memorial
The United States Navy Memorial honors those who have served or are currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine. Overlooking the Memorial Plaza is the original Lone Sailor statue, which has become an iconic representation of American sailors.
11. The District of Columbia War Memorial
This memorial includes the names of the men and women from the District of Columbia who sacrificed their lives during World War I. Inscribed are the names of the 499 Washington, DC citizens who died during the war, with medallions representing the branches of our armed forces.
12. The Women in Military Service for America Memorial
The Women’s Memorial honors the nearly 3 million women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, including those who lost their lives during conflict. The memorial is located in the ceremonial entrance to the Arlington National Cemetery.
Please note: this is not a complete list of all war memorials in and around the Washington, D.C. area.
More from the USO
Sep 26, 2023
Cesar Millan Announces the First-Ever USO Canine Volunteer of the Year
Watch Cesar Millan announce and congratulate the 2023 USO Canine Volunteer of the Year. These certified therapy dogs provide support to the people who serve and their military families at several of the 250+ USO Centers around the globe.
Sep 25, 2023
On the First Day of Basic Training, Coast Guard Recruits Can Turn to the USO for Support
Every Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport, Coast Guard recruits heading to Cape May for basic training know they can turn to the USO to be there with them through every step of their military service -- including that very first day.