I am a huge fan of anything that involves water, so this is one of my favorite memorials to visit while staying in Washington, D.C. The National WWII Memorial is one of the largest outdoor memorials, divided into two halves and representing the entire country. The spectacular design of the memorial ensures it is a beautiful place to visit day or night, but I have always preferred dusk just after the sun has set for views like the one above.
The National WWII Memorial is located along 17th Street NW, easily accessed from multiple points. Taxis and tour buses will drop visitors off right in front of the memorial. It’s also easy to walk along the National Mall from the Washington Monument and cross over the street (be sure to use the lights for the crosswalk because traffic gets fast on this street).
The memorial features a wonderful water display in the center with dozens of smaller jets of water that light up at night. The two halves of the memorial are divided into Pacific and Atlantic, representing the two theaters of operation during the war. Every state and territory of the United States is listed on individual stone pillars and I frequently see visitors getting a photo in front of their home state.
The steps leading down into the memorial are surrounded by large plots of grass, making it a popular place for people to hang out on warmer days. Visitors will spread blankets across the grass for picnics, lay in the sun for a few hours, or enjoy a good book. There are also places to sit right at the edge of the pool, but please keep out of the water! There are signs posted that no swimming is allowed, but it’s also a matter of respect: this is a place commemorating a costly war, not a public swimming pool.
The memorial is a fun place to walk around in a small contained area. The back wall facing the Reflecting Pool is another small water fountain. Visitors can enter and leave the memorial on either side or the front, accessing the sidewalk around the Reflecting Pool and heading toward the Lincoln Memorial. This is also a great starting/ending point for a loop around the Reflecting Pool, visiting nine different memorials and monuments.
The National WWII Memorial Photos
If you would like to view more photos from The National Mall in Washington, D.C., please visit my website at http://photography.southeasterntraveler.com/Washington-DC/The-National-Mall/