National World War II Memorial, Washington DC

A tribute to all American soldiers and civilians who served in World War II, National World War II Memorial consists of 56 granite pillars and a pair of small triumphal arches. The pillars stand in a semicircle around a large plaza featuring two walls, which picture scenes of the war in bas relief. Approach the memorial from the southern or the northern end to see soldiers undergoing physical exams, taking the oath, combating the enemy, and returning home. On the western side of the memorial you can also visit a wall featuring 4,048 stars, each representing 100 soldiers who died in the war, with the front of the panel displaying the words, "Here we mark the price of freedom." Put National World War II Memorial into our Washington DC itinerary planning site to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Washington DC.
Create an itinerary including National World War II Memorial
National World War II Memorial Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
8,311 reviews
  • Much to read and see as this large monument shows all the US states and territories involved in this war. There were some benches nearby to sit upon.  more »
  • A really moving monument, my favorite in the summer. In the winter, without the water, looking at it in subzero windchills... well, it left me cold.  more »
  • Set between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII Memorial is a beautiful tribute to all those who served. At night, the fountain becomes illuminated and casts a subtle glow on the surrounding park area. If possible, try to visit during an Honor Flight, when aging/ill veterans come to DC to see the monuments dedicated to their service - it is quite touching to witness!
  • Up front I am a retired combat veteran and my wife also currently serves. As we walked up to this monument we were in awe by the polished stone. Pacific, Atlantic, States and Countries all identified by carvings inlaid in the stone. It also achieves respect through Land Sea and Air from the water pool centrally located. There are famous sayings all around to read and ponder. I enjoyed it, but I walked away with a sense of dismay due to the "tourism celebrity" that this memorial has become. There were so many people just walking by and snapping photos. Most did not even understand the history or impacts of the war. Worth seeing, as it attempts to make up for the past.
  • Some great images done along the walls and some good words. A very appropriate memorial in its size and layout. A good part of the walk along the mall... Especially because it's not closed off for security reasons
  • The National World War II Memorial is one of the most inspiring in DC for these reasons: 1) It's lit at night- the best time to go. How they arranged the lights is magical as you watch the giant fountain spray up water back lit by lights. It's flanked by the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial also lit up making for great night photography. 2) Often times you will see WWII vets from around the world at this memorial. Many of them love being asked there story. 3) Each pillar represents a US state. It's fun to find your home state and take a photo by it. If you're on the Mall any way, make this a MUST DO!
  • A powerful and awe inspiring visit. When we visited there were a few honor flights of veterans there. To walk around and see the stars that portray the loss of nearly a 1/2 million Americans and to do next to someone who lived it was humbling. We owe those men and women so much. It was a privilege to share that moment with them. And to be able to thank these veterans seemed like the least we could do.

Plan your trip to Washington DC

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.