Women in Military Service for America Memorial, Arlington

#9 of 51 in Things to do in Arlington
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Women In Military Service For America Memorial, also known as Military Women's Memorial, is a memorial established by the U.S. federal government which honors women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The memorial is located at the western end of Memorial Avenue at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States. The structure in which the memorial is housed was originally known as the Hemicycle, and built in 1932 to be a ceremonial entrance to the cemetery. It never served this purpose, and was in disrepair by 1986. Congress approved the memorial in 1985, and the Hemicycle approved as the site for the memorial in 1988. An open design competition was won by New York City architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi. Their original design was leaked to the public, and caused significant controversy. Two years of fund-raising and design revision followed. A revised preliminary design was approved in July 1992, and the final design in March 1995. Ground was broken for the memorial in June 1995, and the structure dedicated on October 18, 1997.

The memorial is notable for its successful mixing of Neoclassical and Modern architecture. The memorial largely retained the Hemicycle, but added a widely praised skylight on the Hemicycle terrace that incorporates not only memorials to servicewomen but also acts as a transition to the memorial below. Construction of the memorial, however, generated a lawsuit when a nearby pylon (part of the gateway to the cemetery) was damaged. Raising funds to pay off the construction debt incurred by the memorial took several years.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
342 reviews
  • This historic look at women in the military was very well done. Photos of women "then and now" show when they were in service, and what they are doing today. Inspirational!  more »
  • Female veterans are often overlooked for their service to our country. I enjoyed this memorial greatly as it shows how grateful our nation is for our females who serve.  more »
  • Amazing place and my experience left me speechless. The site is very well maintained. It provides a great visual for those that just don’t know about us and it also provides a home for all of us that might have no where else to call home in the male-dominate environment.
  • A good place to learn history that you don't learn in school

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