Top 10 National Memorials

We recently posted about Saint Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial and Monument, so now feels like the perfect time to release this Top 10 List.  That is the only National Memorial managed by the U.S. Forest Service, but there are 31 in the National Park Service (NPS) system, and it only seems like all of them are in Washington, D.C. where the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Memorial opened in 2021.  There are many others not run by the NPS, and we have not been to all of them yet, but these are our favorites.  Click here to see all our Top 10 Lists.

10. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (District of Columbia)

Opened in 1997, this series of sculptures is appropriately wheelchair-accessible

9. Fort Caroline National Memorial (Florida)

The original French fort has never been found (and is probably underwater), but you can tour a one-third scale reconstruction of the triangular structure based upon a drawing from 1564

8. General Grant National Memorial (New York)

Often referred to as Grant’s Tomb, this 150-foot tall marble and granite rotunda is the largest mausoleum in North America

7. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (Ohio)

This 352-foot tall memorial tower is located on South Bass Island in western Lake Erie

6. Lincoln Memorial (District of Columbia)

This iconic building at the west end of the National Mall receives around 7-million visitors annually

5. Flight 93 National Memorial (Pennsylvania)

As far we are aware, the only National Memorial representing the 21st century

4. Wright Brothers National Memorial (North Carolina)

The brothers’ momentous 12-second flight occurred here on December 17, 1903

3. Coronado National Memorial (Arizona)

There is no statue of Coronado, but there is a steep three-quarter mile trail to a 600-foot long limestone cave

2. Pearl Harbor National Memorial (Hawaii)

The memorial built atop the sunken U.S.S. Arizona is tasteful and beautiful

…and finally our #1 National Memorial:

1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota)

Inspiring during the day, but for the full effect do not miss the Evening Lighting Ceremony offered May through September

Honorable Mentions

Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial (District of Columbia)

Washington, D.C. is full of memorials (even the Washington Monument counts), but this one is the most unique

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (District of Columbia)

Simple yet stunning, this statue of MLK is surrounded by some of his best quotes

Hamilton Grange National Memorial (New York)

Alexander Hamilton’s house is the only memorial built by the person it honors, though it has been moved twice since his death

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