Washington DC – 8 Monuments and Memorials – Highlights, Maps, Walking Tour, and More – Podcast 014

(Click above to listen to the podcast. See below for information and pictures.)

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Washington, DC – Jefferson Memorial

Highlights of 8 Washington DC Monuments and Memorials

This is the second of 2 blogs/podcasts focusing on Washington, D.C. In this podcast, I focus on eight of the most famous memorials and monuments along the National Mall. Pictures, links, and maps are included below to provide additional resources to help you enjoy the monuments and memorials. The letters beside each of the eight memorials and monuments described below correspond to the letters on the screenshots of the maps.

The maps are also interactive on the website www.walkli.com.

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Washington, D.C. -Monuments and Memorials -Map 1

1-A-Thomas Jefferson Memorial

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Jefferson Memorial – Washington, D.C.

Start this walk at the Tidal Basin at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to the third President of the United States, the drafter of the Declaration of Independence. The memorial was designed by architect John Russell Pope in the classic, circular, colonnaded style of the Pantheon of ancient Rome that Thomas Jefferson introduced to the United States. The cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial was laid by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/thje/index.htm

2-B-Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Walk to your left, with the Tidal Basin on your right to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. FDR was the 32nd president of the United States. The Memorial is comprised of four open-air rooms representing FDR’s four terms of office. It is a great memorial to walk through on a nice day, because a pathway through the rooms passes waterfalls, bronze sculptures, and FDR’s own words carved on the granite walls. There is a statue of Roosevelt sitting in his wheelchair. The memorial opened in 1997.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/frde/index.htm

3-C-Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial – Washington, D.C.

Continue walking around the Tidal Basin to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. This memorial, dedicated in 2011, honors Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice. The giant monument features Dr. King’s statue in the Stone of Hope breaking through a Mountain of Despair as the focal point for the memorial. Dr. King was a Baptist minister and social activist who became a notable figure during the U.S. civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until he was assassinated in 1968. He played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African American citizens in the U.S., influencing the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among many other honors.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/mlkm/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

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Washington, D.C. – Monuments and Memorials Map 2

4-D-Korean War Veterans Memorial

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Korean War Memorial – Washington, DC

Cross Independence Ave and turn left, walking with the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool to your right. Turn right before Daniel French Drive SW, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial will be on your right. This memorial was unveiled in 1995. It contains 19 stainless steel statues designed by Frank Gaylord, each about 7 feet tall and weighing about 1000 pounds. They represent a platoon on patrol, drawn from each branch of the armed forces.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/kowa/index.htm

5-E-Lincoln Memorial

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Lincoln Memorial – Washington, D.C.

Keep walking away from Independence Avenue and you will shortly reach the Lincoln Memorial to your left and the reflecting pool to your right. If you are up to it, climb the staircase to the top of this memorial dedicated to the 16th President of the United States. Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s only surviving son, was present at the dedication in 1922. Architect Henry Bacon’s design of the memorial is based on the Parthenon, in Athens, Greece. Its colonnade of 36 Doric columns represents the number of States in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. The columns tilt slightly inward, to keep the memorial from looking top-heavy. Daniel Chester French’s statue of Lincoln facing the Washington Monument across the Reflecting Pool dominates the central memorial chamber. The recessed lighting system ensures that the expressive features on Lincoln’s face are visible in all light conditions. Many famous speeches and ceremonies have been presented here, but none more famous than in August 1963, when the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the memorial. This memorial is a symbol of freedom for all.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/linc/index.htm

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Washington, D.C. -Monuments and Memorials -Map 3

6-F-Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Vietnam Wall – Washington, D.C.

Walk to the left of the Lincoln Memorial as you face the reflecting pool and you will reach the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This moving memorial includes the names of over 58,000 servicemen and women who gave their lives in service in the Vietnam Conflict. The memorial also includes “The Three Servicemen” statue (on your right before you reach the wall) and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial (on your right as you pass the wall). The memorial is outdoors.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/vive/index.htm

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Washington, D.C. -Monuments and Memorials -Map 4

7-G-World War II Memorial

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World War II Memorial – Washington, D.C.

Walk along the reflecting pool, facing the Washington Monument, until you reach the World War II Memorial. This memorial was dedicated on May 29, 2004 to honor the 16 million men and women who served in the armed forces of the U.S. during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home. The twenty-four bronze bas-relief panels that flank the 17th Street entrance to the memorial are made up of 12 scenes from the homefront. Scenes from the Pacific Theater are displayed on the south walk and scenes from the European Theater are along the northern walk. Each of the 4,048 gold stars represents 100 American military deaths of the total 400,000 soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and military personnel who lost their lives in World War II. When an American went off to fight, the family often displayed in their window a flag bearing a blue star on a white field with a red border. If their loved one was killed, as was the case with 1 in every 40 service members, the family would replace the blue star with a gold one; revealing that family’s sacrifice. The sculptures inside the Atlantic and Pacific victory pavilions are four eagles, symbols of the United States, holding a laurel victory wreath suspended above a victory medallion set into the floor below. The two wreaths on each pillar represent agriculture (wheat wreath) and industry (oak wreath). This symbolizes citizens who offered their resources and the fruits of their labor to the cause of victory. Brochures with more information are available at the World War II Memorial visitor contact station located along Home Front Drive. Restrooms are open during the day.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/dc-war-memorial.htm

8-H-Washington Monument

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Washington Monument – Washington, D.C.

Cross 17th Street and walk to the 555-foot tall Washington Monument, the nation’s memorial to George Washington, the first president of the United States. The sleek marble-clad column was a major engineering feat at its completion, and it has quite an interesting history. Major Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant’s plans for Washington D.C. included a statue honoring General Washington to be located on line with both the White House and the Capitol, very close to where it is now. The current location is slightly south and east of the originally selected site, which turned out to be unable to support the weight of the monument. Plans did not really begin for the monument until 1833, a year after the 100th anniversary of Washington’s birth, when the Washington National Monument Society was formed. The Society held a competition and selected architect Robert Mills’ design.

On July 4, 1848, a cornerstone-laying ceremony took place, attended by President James K. Polk, as well as Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, both members of the House of Representatives at the time. Construction was temporarily stopped when the monument was at a height of 156 feet when money ran out and then the Civil War took place. The monument remained unfinished for more than 20 years! Today a distinct color difference is still visible near the level at which construction temporarily stopped. Finally, with adequate funding and a new design by Lt. Colonel Thomas Casey, of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the monument was completed with the installation of the 3,300-pound marble capstone, and a dedication ceremony was held on February 21, 1885.  For many years visitors could take the steps or ride the elevator to the top, but an August 2011 earthquake 80 miles southwest of Washington DC damaged the monument and renovations are still ongoing. The interior of the Washington Monument is scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2019.

For more information, access the official website at:

https://www.nps.gov/wamo/index.htm


Dr. Loe’s other podcast featuring Washington DC highlighting 7 Major Museums can be found at this link:

https://oneperfectdayin.org/2017/07/28/washington-dc-7-major-museums-highlights-and-walking-tour-podcast-013/

For much more information about many things to see and do in Washington, D.C., including five days of itineraries, hotel, and restaurant recommendations, check out Dr. Loe’s book: Washington, DC 2018 on Amazon in paperback form for $8.99 and on Kindle for $5.99.

Learn more about the Amazon paperback or purchase at the Amazon link below:

Washington, DC 2018 by Cindy Loe – paperback

Learn more about the Kindle book or purchase at the link below:

For a free 5-day suggested itinerary overview, see Washington DC menu link or click here:

https://oneperfectdayin.org/washdc/

Feel free to contact Dr. Loe via email with your questions or comments at:

cindy@oneperfectdayin.org

Until next time, I hope all your travels are just perfect!

Cindy


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