Heroes are at the heart of these memorials
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November 11 is Veterans Day, which honors Americans who have served in the U.S. military. The National Park Service operates four sites in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that honor those who served in specific wars: the African American Civil War Memorial, The Korean War Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Here are facts about the memorials, three for each site. Can you match them up? Answers are below.
(While there are no memorials specifically dedicated to the American Revolution, War of 1812 or all Civil War veterans, there are multiple National Historic sites, monuments and battlefields associated with these conflicts. A World War I Memorial is in the planning stage as is the National Liberty Memorial, which will honor the role of African Americans in the Revolutionary War.)
1. This memorial is at the intersection of U Street NW, Vermont Avenue and 10th Street in Washington, DC.
2. To go to this memorial, go to West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. It is southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and just south of the National Mall’s Reflecting Pool.
3. This memorial, on the eastern end of the National Mall’s Reflecting Pool, is nestled between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It recognizes the 16 million who served in the U.S. military, the more than 400,000 who were killed, and the Americans who supported the war effort back home.
4. The major component of this memorial is located in Constitution Gardens, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial.
5. Sand-blasted into the black granite of this memorial’s Mural Wall are more than 2,400 photographic images portraying the members of the U.S. Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard who fought in this war, as well as the equipment they used. The wall also contains what appears to be the reflections of 38 soldiers.
6. Two walls in this memorial feature 24 bas reliefs of scenes from this war. Most are based on historical photos and include depictions of a bond drive, enlistment, paratroopers, amphibious landing, medics, burial of the dead, and liberation.
7. A related museum across the street from this memorial includes photographs and replicas of period clothing, as well as uniforms and arms from this war. Visitors who would like to look for ancestors who served in this conflict can research a registry of family trees here.
8. This site’s Memorial Wall consists of two sunken, 246-foot 9-inch-long walls that are 8 inches tall at each end and rise to 10.1 feet where they meet. Visitors walking along the base of the wall can see their reflections against the names of 58,307 servicemen and servicewomen who were killed in action or are missing in action.
9. This site includes a “dawn patrol” of 19 stainless steel statues, consisting of 14 members of the Army, three Marines, and one member each from the Navy and Air Force in full combat gear.
10. This memorial is a 9.5-foot bronze statue, The Spirit of Freedom. Three soldiers and a sailor grace the front, while the back portrays a soldier leaving his family to fight in the war. The names of the men who served are engraved on its short walls.
11. This memorial includes 56 granite pillars that form a semicircle around a plaza, with two arches on opposite sides. Each pillar is engraved with one of the states or territories that was part of the nation during this conflict. (One represents the District.) “Atlantic” is etched into the northern arch, while the southern one is inscribed with the word Pacific.
12. This memorial has three components: the Three Servicemen Memorial, a memorial to women who served in this war, and a Memorial Wall.
African American Civil War Memorial: 1, 7, 10
Korean War Memorial: 2, 5, 9
Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 4, 8, 12
World War II Memorial: 3, 6, 11
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