Men's Life Happy Veteran’s Day! We Tour America’s War Memorials (87 Photos) By Greg Baugher Posted on November 11, 2015 17 min read 0 0 655 We’ve compiled some of the most beautiful and sobering places to remember our veterans. The horrors of war and the sacrifices of our service members can be hard for the average civilian to comprehend and appreciate, but these war memorials use sculpture, architecture and intelligent planning to create evocative spaces for contemplation and remembrance. Bunker Hill Monument – Boston “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” This legendary order has come to symbolize the conviction and determination of the ill-equipped American colonists facing powerful British forces during the famous battle fought on this site on June 17, 1775. The battle is popularly known as “The Battle of Bunker Hill” although most of the fighting actually took place on Breed’s Hill, the site of the existing monument and exhibit lodge. Today, a 221-foot granite obelisk marks the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. Gettysburg National Military Park – Gettysburg, PA The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion”, Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address”. Arlington National Cemetary – Arlington, VA Arlington National Cemetery serves as a cemetery and a memorial to America’s persons of national importance, including presidents, Supreme Court justices and countless military heroes. The Cemetery was established during the Civil War as a final resting place for Union soldiers on approximately 200 acres of Mary Custis Lee’s 1,100 acre Arlington estate. The property was expanded over the years to encompass more than 624 acres of burial grounds of more than 400,000 American servicemen. Each year, more than four million people visit Arlington, attending graveside services and special ceremonies to pay tribute to veterans and historical figures. World War I Memorial – Washington D.C. The World War I Memorial near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool isn’t well known or much visited. It has been neglected and forgotten for decades but in the last couple of years has finally gotten some long-overdue attention. The World War I Memorial is the only city-centric monument on the National Mall. It’s dedicated to the 26,000 or so Washingtonians who served in World War I and is sometimes referred to as the DC War Memorial. Inscribed on its base are the names of the Washingtonians who died in the war, and unusually for the time, it includes the names of all Washingtonians who died, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. There is a current effort to have the Memorial re-dedicated as a national monument; although there are memorials for the Vietnam War, Korean War, and Second World War, there is currently no other national monument to World War I on the National Mall. Korean War Veterans Memorial – Washington, D.C. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located near the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. It was dedicated on July 27, 1995. The memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the three-year period of the Korean War. The war was one of the most hard fought in our history. During its relatively short duration from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, 36,574 Americans died in hostile actions in the Korean War theater. Of these, 8,200 are listed as missing in action or lost or buried at sea. In addition 103,284 were wounded during the conflict. World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument – Honolulu, HI The World War II Valor in the Pacific monument, which is spread over several sites, commemorates the American lives lost in the Pacific front in WWII, including those killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. While the monument also has locations in California and Alaska, the majority of the sites are in Pearl Harbor, including the USS Arizona Memorial. Designed by architect Alfred Preis and accessible via boat, the memorial is positioned directly above the wreckage of the sunken battleship. National D-Day Memorial – Washington – D.C. The National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford, Virginia — the community suffering the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation. The Memorial honors the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. With its stylized English Garden, haunting invasion tableau, and striking Victory Plaza, the Memorial stands as a powerful permanent tribute to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of D-Day participants. The Memorial is encompassed by the names of the 4,413 Allied soldiers who died in the invasion, the most complete list of its kind anywhere in the world. US Marine Corps War Memorial – Arlington, VA The Iwo Jima Memorial, also known as the U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial, honors the Marines who have died defending the United States since 1775. The Iwo Jima Memorial is located near Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. In April 2015, philanthropist David M. Rubenstein donated $5.37 million to restore the sculpture and its surrounding parkland. The 32-foot-high sculpture of the Iwo Jima Memorial was inspired by a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of one of the most historic battles of World War II. Iwo Jima, a small island located 660 miles south of Tokyo, was the last territory that U.S. troops recaptured from the Japanese during World War II. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, Virginia. National World War II Memorial The National World War II Memorial honors all 16 million people who served as part of the American armed forces, including the more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The memorial sits along the central vista of the National Mall, at the east end of the Reflecting Pool. It contains 56 granite columns that symbolize unity among the 48 states, seven federal territories and the District of Columbia. The Freedom Wall of 4,048 Gold Stars pays tribute to American lives lost at war, while dozens of battle names and military campaign destinations are also on display. Two 43-foot tall structures highlight America’s victory on the Atlantic and Pacific fronts during World War II. According to the National Park Service, 4.4 million people visit the memorial each year, including many World War II veterans as part of the Honor Flight Network. Normandy American Cemetery – Colleville-sur-Mer, France The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located in Colleville-sur-Mer, on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 as the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its half mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located near Constitution Gardens on the National Mall and northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. It honors members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, those who perished in Vietnam and South East Asia, and those missing in action. The memorial consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is the most popular part of the memorial. The “wall” is actually made up of two identical walls that are each 246 feet and 9 inches long, and contain more than 58,000 names. According to the National Park Service, the memorial receives roughly 3 million visitors per year. National Desert Storm War Memorial (Planned) Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield is the largest American war of the 20th Century without a memorial. More than a half million American servicemen and women took part. Their stunning triumph is an example of America doing it right. We should honor those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who fought to liberate a nation from tyranny and stop aggression. Their skill, professionalism and courage inspired America and brought back a sense of honor and prestige to our military that continues to this day. The National Desert Storm War Memorial will be a tribute to those who served, those who stood behind them and – most importantly – the 292 U.S. servicemen who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The National Desert Storm War Memorial needs your help.