Washington, D.C. Sights

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United States Navy Memorial

United States Navy Memorial Review

Although Pierre L'Enfant included a Navy Memorial in his plans for Washington, D.C., it wasn't until 1987 that one was built. The main attraction here is a100-foot-in-diameter granite map of the world, known as the Granite Sea. It's surrounded by fountains, benches, and six ship masts. The Lone Sailor, a 7-foot-tall statue, stands on the map in the Pacific Ocean between the United States and Japan. The Naval Heritage Center, next to the memorial in the Market Square East Building, displays videos and exhibits of uniforms, medals, and other aspects of Navy life. If you've served in the Navy, you can enter your record of service into the Navy Log here. The theater shows a rotating series of Navy-related movies throughout the day. Bronze relief panels on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the memorial depict 26 scenes commemorating events in the nation's naval history and honoring naval communities. The panels are at a perfect height for children to look at and touch; challenge your child to find these items: a helicopter, a seagull, a U.S. flag, a sailor with binoculars, a dog, penguins, and seals. If you look carefully at the flagpole nearest the entrance to the Heritage Center, you'll see a time capsule, scheduled to be opened in 2093.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Downtown, Washington, DC 20004 | Map It
  • Phone: 202/737–2300
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: 24 hrs; Naval Heritage Center Daily 9:30–5
  • Website:
  • Metro Archives/Navy Memorial.
  • Location: Downtown
Updated: 06-05-2013

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