My 5 Favorite Memorials in Washington D.C.

  1. VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL

The most vivid of the memorials, the Vietnam Veterans makes it 5th among my five favorite memorials in Washington DC.  This memorial consists of the Vietnam Women and the Three Servicemen statues…

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…and the two 75-meter-long walls that have engraved the names of the 58,307 men and women that either died during the war or whose bodies were never found.

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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is particularly special because even to this day, there are people that go looking for their loved ones’ names engraved on the wall to pay their respects. Very few historic places can connect past and present in such a meaningful way.

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  1. KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL

At the Korean War Veterans Memorial, there is a plaque that reads: “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.” Some of those men and women were my fellow Colombians, so since I first visited this place when I was a 14-year-old and I saw my country’s name on it, the Korean War Veterans Memorial holds a special place in my heart. Troops from twenty-one more countries are honored in this memorial, so when you visit, you may also find your country’s name engraved here.

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Apart from my emotional connection with this memorial, it really is a beautiful place. The nineteen nearly human-size statues hold face expressions that show the tiredness, pain, and suffering that I imagine, only fighting a war can bring.

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These statues are placed along a well-kept garden of green bushes. Just across it, there is a granite wall with images of the soldiers dressed on their uniforms.

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I do not know if these are images of the real men that fought this war, but just thinking that it is so gives me goosebumps.

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  1. LINCONL MEMORIAL

Without having visited it, anyone who has watched Forest Gump, the movie, has seen the magnificent and grandiose of this particular landmark – Remember Forest yelling “Jenny! Jenny!” from a stage and Jenny running through a large pond to both end up lovingly hugging each other in the water?

Considering U.S. history, it was only fair to honor a man like Abraham Lincoln with such an impressive monument. The most visited memorial in Washington D.C.

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In the inside, there is an extraordinary seated sculpture of Lincoln who appears to be contemplating the Washington Monument…

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…from which it is separated by the long reflecting pool that also makes part of the Memorial.

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Speaking of which… in my opinion, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is the most characteristic construction in Washington DC. I usually recommend people that do not want to walk the complete National Mall, to at least go see this pool. It is so representative of the U.S. capital that it is worth the walk.

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  1. FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL

One of my favorite U.S. Presidents and all-time leaders, Franklin D. Roosevelt is totally worth a monument in his honor.

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The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial actually tells a story.

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As you walk through this memorial, you will see sculptures that represent national social issues that took place between 1933 and 1945.

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You will also find overall references to the challenges that FDR faced as president in his own words; the walls of this memorial are engraved with FDR celebrated quotes about civil rights, national economy, and world peace.

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The FDR Memorial has an easy access for visitors with disabilities; it has the appropriate space for visitor that need a wheelchair to move and some of  FDR quotes are engraved in Braille.

The FDR Memorial is absolutely beautiful. Depending on where you stand, you would be able to see the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Memorial, or the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in between the Cherry Blossom trees.

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  1. THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL

There is just something about the Thomas Jefferson memorial that leaves me in awe every time I visit it. I am not sure whether it is the view, the shape, the impressive sculpture, or all the above, but I just love going there.

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Maybe because it is the most kind of isolated of the monuments and so it gets relatively fewer visitors, it has some peaceful vibes that I just love.

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Yes, it is a little farther away from the other monuments in the National Mall, but it is worth it to go walking there instead of going by car.

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On the way to the Jefferson Memorial, there is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the latter is included on this list.

Inside the Jefferson Memorial there is the huge bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson, and on the walls, there are passages from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, of which Jefferson was its leading author.

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