7 Must-See National Historic Landmarks in Washington, D.C.

D.C. is the hub of American governance, history, and progress. You’ll need a few days, at least, to cover all the most famous monuments and landmarks. Besides the actual government buildings, including the White House and State Capitol, there are numerous memorial locations that commemorate very important moments in U.S. history. Here are the most prominent.

1: Abraham Lincoln Memorial

Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia/Djonesmhc

One of the most influential presidents in modern history, the Lincoln Memorial was erected in 1922 to celebrate the 16th president of the United States of America. Located across the Washington Monument, it is a very impressive and moving piece, created by Henry Bacon and Daniel Chester French. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is immortalized by this memorial and serves as a reminder of America’s no-to-distant past of overcoming slavery.

Address: 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037
Website: www.nps.gov

2: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Derek Key

This memorial is a requirement for all citizens who have opportunity to visit Washington, DC. It serves as a reminder of the bloody, catastrophic cost of war, costing millions of innocent lives in Vietnam (both during and post-war casualties) and tens of thousands of American soldiers, whom many were forced by the draft without a choice. It is divided into three sections: Three Servicemen Memorial, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and the main Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. We visit this memorial to honor the dead and to avoid repeating these same mistakes again.

Address: 5 Henry Bacon Dr NW, Washington, DC 20245
Website: www.nps.gov

3: World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Nicolas Raymond

This memorial is located right on the National Mall, identified as 56 columns and two arches around the plaza fountain, sitting conveniently in between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Over four hundred thousand American lives died, the second most after the Soviet Union, which suffered up to 27 million casualties after fighting the vast majority of Hitler’s legion on the Eastern Front.

Address: 1964 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20227
Website: www.nps.gov

4: Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Richard Gillin

The Korean War Veterans Memorial remembers all of those who lost their lives from 1950 to 1953 when Korea was split into two. It contains photo-realistic depictions of the soldiers and conditions of the war, which reflect onto the memorial wall with all the names in an eerie silhouette. Over 50,000 Americans died in the war, with over three million Koreans and one million Chinese, when a stalemate was reached. The cost of war weighs heavy on the mind here, as it does with the other memorials.

Address: 900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024
Website: www.nps.gov

5: Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

Located right beside the National Mall where hundreds of thousands of people gathered to hear his famous “I have a Dream” speech, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was unveiled in 2011, after decades of organizing, fundraising, and construction. Seen as one of the most influential and succinct voices of the Civil Rights Era, the MLK Memorial statue, carved in granite, sits on four acres of the lawn, commemorating the year that Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted.

Address: 1964 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
Website: www.nps.gov

6: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ken Chan

FDR’s memorial is over seven acres total and encompasses four sections, each depicting his four terms as president of the United States. Contained in each section are various sculptures that tell his life as president, as well as the climactic history surrounding it. This memorial is also handicap accessible for the deaf, blind, and wheelchair-bound, in honor of Roosevelt’s own disability.

Address: 1850 West Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242
Website: www.nps.gov

7: Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jiuguang Wang

One of the founding fathers of our country, we have chosen the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to showcase all of his contributions and trials as president. The author of America’s Declaration of Independence, member of the Continental Congress, and governor of the newly independent Commonwealth of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson finally served as the third President from 1801 to 1809, after being George Washington’s Vice President. He went on to become of the most influential presidents of early America.

Address: 701 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242
Website: www.nps.gov

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