7 Of The Most Beautiful Monuments to See on Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., which means aside from barbecuing and kick-starting our summer vacations,  it’s time to commemorate those men and women who have died fighting for our country.

To celebrate Memorial Day right, let’s take a look at some of my favorite memorials and monuments from around the United States!

1. USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

The breathtaking USS Arizona Memorial floats peacefully above a wreckage that shook our nation and propelled the United States into World War II.  The USS Arizona Memorial is the tribute and final resting place of those killed in the tragedy.  Over 1 million people visit annually and it is only accessible by boat. Floating directly above the wreckage, the huge opening in the floor allows visitors to look down at the sunken decks of the battleship.

The USS Arizona battleship had been used by the U.S. Navy for over a quarter-century until that fateful day in history. On December 7, 1941, Japanese Imperial Forces bombed Pearl Harbor, taking the lives of 1,102 of people on board.  Only 75 people survived.

2. Indiana World War Memorial Plaza

Indianapolis, Indiana

Originally erected for World War I soldiers, the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza was designed in 1919 and is the current home to the American Legion.  This awe-inspiring shrine takes up a 5-block radius in the state’s capital and includes 2 museums, and 3 parks with over 20 acres of commemorative war statues (making it 2nd only to Washington DC in the number of monuments per acre erected for our freedom fighters).

The inspiration for this memorial was taken from the blueprints of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which is one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.”

3. National World War II Memorial

Washington, D.C.

The colossal National World War II Memorial monument took over 10 years and two U.S. Presidents to create!  The bill to create this amazing national treasure was vetoed three times in the House of Representatives, finally passing by a hair in 1993.  In 1994, President Bill Clinton created a committee that would be responsible for picking a site, designing the monument, and fundraising this tremendous project.

President George Bush dedicated the memorial on May 29, 2004, just two days before Memorial Day.  This massive dedication to the fallen of World War II has gone through it’s fair share of controversy from critics since it’s unveiling.  However, people still flock from all corners of the earth to catch a glimpse of this impressive creation!

4. National Memorial Arch

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

Modeled after the Arch of Titus in Rome, the stoic curvature of the National Memorial Arch was pieced together in 1910 to commemorate the soldiers who fought to create this country in the Revolutionary War.

Originally designed to have two arches, budget cuts later forced the project down to only one.  Still, this towering monument is pretty impressive!

5. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Washington, D.C.

More than 265,000 women served in the Vietnam War – and 10,000 of them served within combat right alongside men. However, only of some of them are memorialized. Glenna Goodacre created the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in honor of the women who served as nurses and soldiers in the Vietnam War.

This statue stands proudly at the National Mall in our country’s capital.  Though not as large as some of the other monuments out there, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial is one of the few monuments that have been raised to honor the women who have served the women in our country.

6. Korean War Veterans Memorial

Washington, D.C.

The Korean War Veteran’s Memorial is said to be one of the most inspiring monuments in DC!  This 19-piece display encompasses 95,000 feet of space.  It is one of the few memorials to represent cross sections of our nation’s military.

14 of the statutes represent the National Army, three represent the Marines, one represents the Navy and one final one represents the Air Force.  Complex by design, you could walk through this display several times and find something new each time.

7. Arlington West

Santa Monica, California

The Arlington West memorial is the only non-permanent monument on this list.  This spine-tingling tribute gets constructed every Sunday at sunrise and taken down the same day at sunset.

Created in painstaking detail each time to remember the fallen, this beautiful memorial for the soldiers of the Iraq War can be found right next to the world famous Santa Monica Pier.

Now that you’ve seen some of the most beautiful memorials around the U.S., it’s your turn to take a moment and think about those who fought for the freedom we have today.


What is your favorite memorial in the U.S.? Share yours in the comments below!


Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments.

  1. A. Claire Campbell Stout

    When I visited Washington D.C. with my daughter and granddaughter I was most impressed by the Korean Memorial, not only because it was my husband’s time of service, but I was so moved walking around it and realizing no matter where I looked a brave soldier was “on guard” if you will, watching over me. Once again the reminder, “Freedom isn’t free” and thank God for all the brave men and women who served. Yes, women as our daughter, Elizabeth Helen Stout Knox-Brock served 7 1/2 years in the Army. She was stationed in Korea when our youngest son, Ted M. Stout volunteered for Marines in Desert Storm .Our granddaughter was Born in Seoul during her service there. Elizabeth was brought back to the States to be an M.P. drill sergeant . My Daddy Alva Lee Campbell served in the First World War, and came home safely but was never really well. Yes, the Korean Memorial is my favorite as I can still see and feel those brave, diligent eyes watching over the United States of America.