Honoring Our Nation's Heroes

Leticia Barr - Washington Dc
November 6, 2017

Living in the nation’s Capitol, there isn’t a shortage of heroes that can serve as role models for our children. Great presidents, inspirational leaders, along with brave service men and women are honored through monuments, museums, and memorials. Many times we pass by these awe-inspiring structures without giving thought to their meaning and the people they honor. Here’s a list of must-visit memorials to honor our nation's heroes right in our hometown.

The new memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. is located between the Lincoln Monument and Jefferson Memorial, on the side of the Tidal Basin.  The two large stones at the entrance symbolize a “mountain of despair” while the large stone that features a carving of Martin Luthur King, Jr. represents a “monolithic struggle.” The Inscription Wall features fourteen quotes by Dr. King from various points of his career as he fought for justice and equality.

Our nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, is memorialized at the West End of the Reflecting Pool. President Lincoln sits in the Lincoln Memorial as a reminder of freedom for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation that abolished slavery. Young history buffs can also visit President Lincoln’s Cottage which is located a short distance from the United States Capitol and was a place where the former president spent part of each year during the Civil War.

Declaration of Independence author, Thomas Jefferson, stands overlooking the Tidal Basin from inside the Jefferson Memorial. It’s one of the most picturesque and crowded memorials, especially during cherry blossom season in the spring but an honor to a man who was not only a president, but also a symbol of democracy and change. A great way to visit during the tourist months is on bike or cruising around the Tidal Basin on paddle boats can also be fun.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is easy to miss if you happen to be stopping at the Jefferson Memorial. The FDR Memorial is a short walk from the Jefferson and is one of the most peaceful places where adults can linger, remembering his contributions to the country by being an advocate for national parks. Since the statue of FDR depicts him in a wheelchair, time spent at the memorial can also spark a discussion about special needs and disabilities with children.

The obelisk that pays tribute to George Washington is hard to miss. Located at the other end of the Reflecting Pool from the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument prominently recognizes our nation’s first president.

There are also many other memorials to commemorate the brave service men and women who have fought for our country’s freedom throughout history. Arlington National Cemetery is hallowed ground where rows upon rows of white headstones mark the place where brave service men and women are laid to rest while other war heroes are honored at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, and DC War Memorial

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