Just the Facts

Five Facts on D.C. War Memorials

By Emma Petasis
May 23, 2019 | Blog

Washington, D.C. has multiple memorials commemorating the lives and sacrifices of American men and women who served in the military. Here are five facts on the most prominent among them.

1. World War I Memorial

The World War I Memorial was constructed in 1931, and restored in 2010 as part of the American Recovery and Restoration Act. Inscribed on the marble platform are the names of 499 Washington, D.C. residents who died in service during World War I without any distinctions made regarding rank.1

2. World War II Memorial

Honoring the 16 million who served in the U.S. military and more than 400,000 who died in service, the World War II Memorial was built and dedicated in 2004. Each U.S. state as of 1945 is represented on granite columns to symbolize their contributions both at home and abroad, and over 4,048 gold stars represent 100 American lives lost in the war.2

3. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial chronologically lists the names of over 58,000 servicemen and servicewomen who gave their lives in service in the Vietnam Conflict. Built and dedicated in 1982, this memorial is currently the most-visited memorial on the National Mall, attracting over five million people each year.3

4. Korean War Veterans Memorial

Dedicated in 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served, and the 54,246 Americans who died in the Korean War. The American Battle Monuments Commission writes that the statues and their placement symbolize order and the rice paddies of Korea.4

5. American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is the first memorial dedicated entirely to disabled veterans. Dedicated in October of 2014, the memorial features a large reflecting pool with a ceremonial flame coming from the center of the dark pool signifying the sacrifices and strength of these service men and women.5

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

2 https://www.nps.gov/wwii/learn/historyculture/index.htm

3 https://www.vvmf.org/About-The-Wall/history-of-the-vietnam-veterans-memorial/

4 https://www.abmc.gov/about-us/history/korean-war-memorial

5 https://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/american-veterans-disabled-for-life.htm

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