Washington DC Photo Gallery - Presidential Monuments

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was designed by an architecture student to commemorate the over 58,000 Americans who died. Simply two triangular black walls below the ground, it looks towards both the Washington Momument and the Lincoln Memorial.

Did some victims' families scattered their loved ones' ashes in public to prompt this sign?

Once a swampy marsh, the Lincoln Memorial site was transformed into a grand monument for this pivotal president in 1914. Walk up the long staircase, turn around, and enjoy views of the reflecting pool and the Washington Monument beyond. Be amazed.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1995, 42 years after the armistice that stopped the war. 19 stainless steel statues in ponchos are seen moving towards the US flag, while the wall next to them bear images of over 2400 veterans.

Although it was a sunny day when I visited, the gear the soldiers wore was meant to convey bad weather conditions during the war.

Perhaps the cold weather deterred visitors from walking around the Tidal Basin where these monuments are located. I had most of these spaces all to myself. Long forgotten but recently revitalized in 2011, the DC War Memorial was dedicated in 1931 and commemorates 499 local citizens who perished in World War I.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was dedicated in 2011 with large stone tablets, 1 of which portrays the man emerging from a stone.

The Tidal Basin offers a nice backdrop to many of the monuments in the National Mall area. Benches along the waterfront are a great place for a picnic in the summer.

The FDR Memorial opened in 1997 and stretches quite a long linear distance over 4 outdoor rooms, each depicting one of his terms in office.

FDR suffered from polio and had to use a wheelchair.

When spring arrives, the Tidal Basin area is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot. The trees were donated by Japan before hostilities turned violent in World War II.

The Jefferson Memorial was conceived by FDR, who believed his role deserved a monument just like Lincoln. Dedicated in 1943, his statue was later recast in bronze and now looks towards the White House.

The Washington Monument is made of 36,000 pieces of marble and granite. Construction began in 1848 but stopped part-way due to lack of funds, only to resume in 1876 when the president authorized its completion. Today, the different colours on the monument mark the two different construction periods. Damaged by the 2011 earthquake, the elevator to the top gallery is still being renovated and hence the monument remains closed until 2019.

The closest metro stop is Smithsonian, which is a block away from the Washington Monument. Alternatively, the Lincoln Memorial is almost a 1-mile walk south from Foggy Bottom station.

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