Washington, DC is in many ways a time machine for travelers to see and touch structures that are physically part, or emblematic of the United States’s social building blocks. While some, like the White House, are functional, others are reflective and emotionally moving. Here are Washington, DC’s most touching memorials.
Located in a scenic West Potomac Park, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial features a 30 foot tall sculpture of the revolutionary named the “Stone of Hope.” Set apart from two other large slabs of granite known as the “Mountain of Despair,” the memorial actualizes metaphors from his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, and features many other quotations from the civil rights leader.
Arguably the National Mall’s most recognizable structure, the Lincoln Memorial famously pits Honest Abe in a large seat overlooking the Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument and DC beyond. Inscriptions from his famous Gettysburg Address, as well as the words, “In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever,” are set around him as a reminder of his monumental social and political influence.
Set between the Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool, the WWII Memorial is unique with a circular fountain and surrounding pillars representing the fifty states. A field of stars, quote from General Eisenhower and pavilions for the Atlantic and Pacific coasts speak to how this great war was felt in all corners of our large country.
By far the simplest of Washington, DC’s memorials, the Vietnam Memorial is also one of its most stirring. Nearly 250 feet of gabbro walls pay homage to fallen servicemen and women with etchings of their names in horizontal rows.
Next to Jerusalem and Berlin, Washington, DC is considered home to one of the most touching Holocaust memorials in the world. A tour through the three level museum paves a path through the history of Nazi Germany painting an emotional picture of how and why the United States had to intervene.