The Complete Guide to the National Mall in Washington, DC

The Lincoln Memorial, a marble tribute to Abraham Lincoln, is built in marble. This columned memorial was designed to look like a Greek temple modeled after Parthenon. There are 36 Doric columns. The marble staircase leads to the Lincoln sculpture by Daniel Chester French, an American sculptor. It is located in the middle of the memorial chamber and is the monument's main visual feature. A seated Lincoln, his hands clasped in contemplation, is deeply seated. The ceiling has a mural by Julies Guercino that depicts the angel of truth, which liberates enslaved people. The words from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address are inscribed on the south wall. The comments from Lincoln's second inaugural address are marked on the north wall. Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous 1963 speech "I have a Dream" at the Lincoln Memorial. It is a beautiful place to rest and take in the views from the memorial's steps.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1982. It is an incredibly moving monument. It is the most visited memorial on the National Mall. It is as well-loved as the Lincoln Memorial.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, The Three Soldiers Statue, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial are the three main parts of the memorial.

Maya Kin designed the solemn Memorial Wall. It is one of the most potent and moving sections. When it was revealed, it was shocking to see the minimalist wall that cut into the earth’s surface.

It was not adorned with the usual heroic statues and was initially referred to as a “black trench” at the mall. It gained a following among the grassroots.

The Memorial Wall is a granite wall with a long V-shaped shape. In a seemingly endless account, the wall contains the names of more than 58,000 people who died or were killed in the war of folly.

Reflective walls are visible on the wall. You can see your reflection on the wall when you read the names. It is a way to connect the living with the lost.

This memorial highlights the brave men and women who fought in the war, which I find very appealing. Visitors often leave photos, flowers, or other tributes.

Korean War Memorial

The United States joined the United Nations in 1950 to help fight the Korean War. The Korean War Memorial, dedicated in 1995, honors more than 50,000 Americans who served in that conflict.

The memorial is approached via a winding path. The triangular garden simulates a battlefield.

You will see 19 larger-than-life stainless steel sculptures. These sculptures depict soldiers wearing ponchos.

They gesture, crouch and spring to action. The figures are seated in a bed made of the juniper bush, which is meant to remind you of the rice paddies of Korea.

You’ll find the faces of soldiers sandblasted into granite on a wall measuring 164 feet. The slogan “Freedom is Not Free” can be found at the top of this memorial.

Constitution Gardens

Constitution Gardens is a peaceful oasis near the bustling National Mall. The park has a lake with a small island.

A memorial to the 56 Declaration of Independence signers can be found on the island. It is a semi-circular granite sculpture. It contains the signatures and names of the singers as they appear on the document.

You can also enjoy a little bit of nature here. The gardens can be admired from the trees as you stroll along their paths.

World War II Memorial

The WWII Memorial covers 7.5 acres, not The National Mall. It is located at the top end of the reflecting pool. Bronze reliefs depict battle scenes.

A fountain is located in the middle of the Neo-Classical Memorial. Fifty-six granite arches and columns surround it. These columns represent the 50 US states and territories.

Two massive arches signify the Pacific and Atlantic wars. The Freedom Wall is a tribute to all those who died during the conflict.

The memorial is adorned with more than 4,000 gold stars, representing the 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during WWII. The monument has sections that commemorate significant dates such as Pearl Harbor and D-Day.

The National Park Service offers daily tours of the WWII memorial every hour.

This is not my favorite memorial at the mall. It is pretty bland in its architecture. The arches give off a hint of imperialism, glorifying war.

I also think of the memorial as a water park, especially since people are so disrespectful when they jump into the Rainbow Pool.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is dedicated to George Washington, the first president of the United States. It towers 555 feet high above the National Mall and is the highest structure in Washington, DC.

The obelisk was completed in 1885 after years of design disputes. This monument is the tallest obelisk in the world.

The monument was reopened in July 2021 after many closures due to the pandemic and renovations.

You can take the elevator up to the top with a timed ticket. This will give you spectacular views of the city. There will be several layers of security.

World War I Memorial

A WWI Memorial dedicated to the global conflict was opened to the public more than 100 years after the end of World War I. It will be open to the public in April 2021. It is located across the street from the White House Visitor’s Centre.

It is dedicated to the 4.7 million Americans who fought in World War I and the 116,516 who gave their lives in vain.

The memorial is still in its infancy. The centerpiece of the Memorial will consist of a 60-foot-long bas-relief sculpture called A Soldier’s Journey.

The Wall of Remembrance will be completed in 2024. A canvas with sketches for the future sculpture is now in its place.

A statue of General John J. Pershing is included in the WWI memorial. A Peace Fountain is also located here, as well as a stone wall that bears an excerpt of Archibald MacLeish’s poem The Young Dead Soldiers Don’t Speak.

White House

To see the White House, turn left and head north. Pennsylvania Avenue, which is pedestrian-only, borders the presidential estate. This is a beautiful place to get a close-up view or take photos.

It is essential to plan for White House tours. The White House Visitor Center offers a comprehensive overview of the building’s history and design.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s newest addition is the National Museum of African American History and Culture. President Barack Obama inaugurated it in 2016.

The Smithsonian Museum is fantastic. It contains artifacts and photography that reflect African Americans’ culture, heritage, and experiences.

Harriet Tubman’s clothing, slave shackles and a bill for a sale of a young girl who was an enslaved person, Louis Armstrong’s trumpet, and photos of civil rights activists from black countries are all included. The Emancipation Proclamation is a top exhibit.

Statue depicting the famous protest of the medal stand by John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics

Statue depicting the protest of the medal at the 1968 Olympics by Tommie Smith & John Carlos

The museum’s architecture is breathtaking. The whole building is covered in an ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice. It is a tribute to iron works that enslaved Americans crafted.

This museum is one of the most visited Smithsonian museums. The museum suggests that visitors book an online timed admission pass before arriving. It is entirely free.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Holocaust Memorial Museum is a top attraction in Washington, D.C., and well worth a visit.

The Museum is a living tribute to the Holocaust, one of the most horrendous tragedies in the history of the world. It is a place to reflect on the inhumanity of man.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum was established in 1993. It is a modern museum that captures the traumatic memories of a nightmare. It sheds light on the cruel and insane megalomania of the Nazi party, which took not only lives but also identities.

The museum records the rise and atrocities of the Nazi party with unflinching eye-opening details. The museum reveals the demonic in the most intimate and chilling information, not in grandiose ways.

This is my complete guide to The Holocaust Museum with helpful tips. For the permanent exhibit, you will need a free timed pass.