National Mall

National Mall

Quick Guide to the National Mall

January 12, 2009, 12:45 pm

As inspiring and breathtaking as the many natural wonders of this great nation is the legacy of its founding fathers (and mothers) and the countless individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold the standards and policies of this, our homeland. The monuments within the National Mall and Memorial Parks provide visitors with innumerable chances to reflect on presidents the courage and honor of war veterans, and the chronicles of the U.S. past and present. Read on to learn more about some of the National Mall’s most prominent icons.

The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is the most prominent structure, as well as one of the earliest point of interest, in Washington, D.C. It was built to honor George Washington, who led the country to independence and became its first President. The Monument is shaped like an Egyptian obelisk, stands 555’ 5 1/8” tall, and offers views in excess of thirty miles. Construction was completed on December 6, 1884. Note: due to the upcoming inauguration, the Washington Monument will be closed on January 18, 2009 and January 20, 2009.

The Washington Monument is open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., with the last tour beginning before 4:45 P.M. The days for scheduled closure are July 4th and December 25th.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial

The words of Thomas Jefferson have shaped American ideals for more than 200 years and resonate today as much as they did when they were written. Today, Jefferson’s revolutionary words adorn the interior walls of his memorial, which stands as a symbol of liberty and endures as a site for reflection and inspiration for citizens of the United States and the world. The public may visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial 24 hours a day; however, rangers are only on duty to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily.

The Lincoln Memorial

“In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” Beneath these words, the 16th President of the United States—the Great Emancipator and preserver of the nation during the Civil War—sits immortalized in marble. As an enduring symbol of Freedom, the Lincoln Memorial is a reminder of the hard fought battles that threatened to destroy our union and of the courage and vision of a leader who guided the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserved the Union and ended slavery.

You can visit Lincoln Memorial 24 hours a day; however, rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” These are the words of our 32nd President, a man who embodied the meaning of the word courage. Despite being stricken with polio at age 39 and paralyzed from the waist down, Roosevelt emerged as a true leader, guiding our country through some of our darkest hours: the Great Depression and World War II. The memorial honors this man, his story, and his lasting legacy.

Feel free to visit the FDR Memorial 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily.

The World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial commemorates the sacrifice and celebrates the victory of ”the greatest generation.” Friedrich St. Florian’s award-winning design balances classical and modernist styles of architecture, harmonizes with its natural and cultural surroundings, and connects the legacy of the American Revolution and the American Civil War with a great crusade to rid the world of fascism.

The public may visit the World War II Memorial 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial

“Freedom is not free.” Dedicated in 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is a visceral expression of American gratitude to the men who helped restore freedom to South Korea in the face of communist aggression. Nineteen stainless steel sculptures stand silently under the watchful eye of a sea of faces upon a granite wall—reminders of the human cost of defending freedom. Together these elements bear witness to the patriotism, devotion to duty, and courage of Korean War veterans.

The public may visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Deliberately setting aside the controversies of the war, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors the men and women who served when their Nation called upon them. The designer, Maya Lin, felt that “the politics had eclipsed the veterans, their service and their lives.” She kept the design elegantly simple to “allow everyone to respond and remember.”

The public may visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm daily.

The Future of the National Mall

The National Park Service is currently planning for the future of the National Mall. The project website will provide progress updates and has detailed information about how you can become involved in the process. Please participate—it’s your National Mall!

What to Expect Weather-Wise

Washington has a temperate climate typical of the Mid-Atlantic U.S., with four distinct seasons. Summer tends to be very hot and humid. Spring and fall are mild. Winter can bring cold temperatures, frozen precipitation and, on occasions, major snowstorms. Contacts: Write to Superintendent 900 Ohio Drive, SW Washington, DC 20024 Phone Visitor Information (202) 426-6841 Park Headquarters (202) 485-9880 Fax (202) 426-1835