Veterans Day is Friday, November 11. Take some time this month to honor the brave men and women who served in our armed forces by visiting these five Virginia-based memorials.
The U.S. Air Force Memorial honors the service and heritage of the people of the U.S. Air Force and its heritage organizations. When you visit, it’s easy to be mesmerized by the three stainless steel spires reach heights of 402 feet above sea level. Walls made of granite include inscriptions that explain the bravery and values of aviation’s firsts supporting the Air Force.
Interesting fact: The memorial is the last military service monument to be erected in the National Capital Region and is the last design project of James Ingo Freed, an American architect who died in 2005. 1 Air Force Memorial, Arlington
The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial depicts the country’s gratitude toward Marines and those who fought next to them. You’ll see that the statue shows one of the most famous incidents of World War II, but the memorial is indeed dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives since 1775. The figures in the memorial are in the same positions as they were in Joe Rosenthal’s iconic 1945 photograph. The weapons carried by two of the figures are 16 and 12 feet long and the canteen would hold 32 quarts of water. The figures all stand on a rock slope above a granite base. The entire memorial is around 78 feet tall.
Interesting fact: The memorial includes 32-foot-high figures shown raising a 60-foot bronze flagpole. The flag flies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by presidential proclamation. Located outside of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington Ridge Park
The memorial and education center are leading the mission to honor the contributions and experiences of servicewomen. The heart of the memorial design is the Register. It is a place where visitors can check out a unique look at some of the stories that make up the history of women in the military.
The design is quite purposeful, with touches like the historic line that connects the Lincoln Memorial to Arlington House (a symbol of linking the North and South post-Civil War) and is showcased through a trail of pavers running from the Lincoln Memorial up the center of the Memorial Bridge and Memorial Drive, extended onto the Women’s Memorial Court of Valor. You can read more about the memorial’s history here.
Interesting fact: Three million women have served in or with the Armed Forces since the American Revolution. Memorial Ave., Schley Dr., Arlington
Take a daytrip to Richmond’s Virginia War Memorial to honor the thousands of Virginians who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Almost 10,000 Virginians made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II and by 1950, the Virginia General Assembly authorized construction of a memorial to honor their valor. By the memorial’s dedication in February 1956, Korean War vets were also added.
As you circle back toward Northern Virginia, make your way to the National D-Day Memorial to honor those who died on June 6, 1944, in one of the most critical battles of World War II. The monument receives around 60,000 visitors each year and was dedicated on June 6, 2001, by then-President George W. Bush. The structure includes over 50 acres at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At its center is a 44-foot tall arch with the military name “Overlord” that was given to the operation.
Interesting fact: The arch is spotlighted by a reflecting pool that surrounds a scene that symbolizes soldiers trudging along the blood-stained beaches of Normandy. 3 Overlord Cir., Bedford
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