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Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials free

Just across from the Lincoln Memorial | Washington, DC 20242
Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials Photo info
Hang Ding/Shutterstock
  • Type: Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: Less than 1 hour
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.7)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Facilities: 0.0 (N/A)
Atmosphere: 5.0 (5.0)
About these ratings

One of the most moving war memorials, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — or "the Wall," as it's commonly referred to — is a long black granite wall with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who perished during the Vietnam War emblazoned on its surface. (If you're looking for a specific name, keep in mind the soldiers names are ordered by the date they died rather than alphabetically.) Recent visitors describe a visit to the site as heartbreaking but thought-provoking and powerful. "Seeing all the names really personalizes the experience. I [have] been there a number of times over the years and I'm always humbled by my time there," commented one TripAdvisor user.  

Like many of D.C.'s monuments and memorials, the Vietnam Memorial is free and open 24 hours a day, though it's only staffed until midnight. You'll find it at the eastern end of the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial. For up-to-date information, check out the National Park Service's official Vietnam Veterans Memorial page

While you're wandering along the eastern side of the Mall, venture to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Paying tribute to the 1.5 million who served in "The Forgotten War," this privately funded site contains 19 stainless-steel statues of soldiers in combat. In a triangular area known as the "Field of Service," soldier statues march toward an American flag. Next to the soldiers is a 164-foot-long granite wall that pays homage to the unnamed troops that fought in the Korean War. "Each [statue] has been caught in [a] distinctively haunting pose. Nothing I have ever seen has depicted the physical and psychological effects of war so dramatically," explained one TripAdvisor user. Another highlight of the memorial is the "Pool of Remembrance," a tranquil place for reflection. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is free to explore 24 hours a day, though National Park Service rangers are only on the grounds daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Both memorials are just a short walk south on 23rd Street Southwest from the Foggy Bottom Metro stop (on the Blue and Orange lines).

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