World War II Memorial


The World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated in 2004 to remember the 16-million Americans that served in uniform during the war.  It is located on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.  The seven-acre site is managed by the National Park Service (NPS).  There is not an NPS visitor center at the site, but there are information kiosks around the area, including two near the Lincoln Memorial.


Pavilions, pillars, bas-relief sculptures, fountains

Must-Do Activity

The memorial’s design was chosen in a competition with more than 400 others and was created in 1997 by Austrian-born architect Friedrich St. Florian.  It features a large pool and fountains, two pavilions labeled Atlantic and Pacific, 56 pillars for each state and territory, as well as bas-relief sculptures and quotes from historic figures.  On the Freedom Wall, each gold star represents one hundred of the 405,399 Americans who died during World War II.

Best Trail

Walk the bridge across the Potomac River to Arlington, Virginia for a view of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial that depicts the American flag being raised over Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during World War II.  This is technically part of George Washington Memorial Parkway (another NPS site), and offers a commanding view of the National Mall and is especially photogenic at night.

Instagram-worthy Photo

After dark is a great time for photography on the National Mall, and the World War II Memorial is no exception.  You might consider bringing a tripod for clearer photos.

Peak Season



24 hours a day with NPS rangers posted until 10 p.m.



Road Conditions

All roads are paved, but public transportation is recommended in Washington, D.C.



Related Sites

World War I Memorial (District of Columbia)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (District of Columbia)

Korean War Veterans Memorial (District of Columbia)

Explore More – The memorial contains two hidden “Kilroy was here” engravings; what is the significance of this inclusion?


4 thoughts on “World War II Memorial”

  1. The D.C. monuments are a national treasure. One of the bas-relief sculptures on the WW II Memorial depicts a man and a woman dancing – presumable at at USO. That is how my parents met. Nice post! Thanks for the “Explore More” options. It sparks my curiosity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! The Marine Corps Memorial (and the Netherlands Carillon next door, which might have an even better view) is indeed a national park! It’s managed by the South District of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, headquartered next door at Arlington House, which has a pretty commanding view of the city itself as well. Those are my top 3 views of the full skyline.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the info! I did not realize that was part of the Parkway, which we will post about later. There really are so many parts of DC managed by the NPS, including the little grassy roundabout outside my cousin’s front door which they neglect to mow.


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