Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Sat May 23 2015

5 Inspiring Memorials to Our Nation's Heroes

Features & Advice | Cherese Weekes | May 23, 2015

5 Inspiring Memorials to Our Nation's Heroes

Memorial Day marks a time of remembrance for our nation’s fallen heroes, and while many prefer to spend this time in the company of family and friends, those who honor the holiday’s spirit make their way to national monuments to pay their respects to the countless individuals who served their country.

Their deeds will be written of in history books, but their memories will be written in the stone monuments at the five following sites.

Virginia: Arlington National Cemetery

There are many reasons why Arlington National Cemetery is an iconic treasure. For more than a century the lives of countless American soldiers have been laid to rest here, and each Memorial Day an American flag is placed by their gravestones. However, you won’t only have the need to visit the cemetery on the national holiday to feel the presence of the American spirit because there is a wealth of monuments that make each visit unforgettable.

One of Arlington National Cemetery’s most popular attractions is The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a striking white sarcophagus emerging from a hill and set above a grave of an unidentified soldier from World War I. Other memorials of the cemetery include the Rough Riders Monument, the USS Maine Memorial as well as the eternal flame honoring John F. Kennedy, which are all timeless attractions.

Washington, D.C.: Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War may have been one of the shortest wars in American history, but the 19 life-sized statues and tributes to the millions of individuals who served in the war make a lasting impression in the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Even while set in stone, the troops appear to be standing at attention. When visitors are not mesmerized by the statues, you can be sure them at the Mural Wall, which provides a realistic view of the war with thousands of photos.

Missouri: Liberty Memorial

Dominating Kansas City’s skyline, the Liberty Memorial is arguably the city’s most recognizable monument. Yet, there is much more to this architectural gem than its impressionable size. Since the 1920s, it has represented the many lives sacrificed during World War I and also doubles as a library for those interested in the war’s dynamic stories.

And if you want pictures to go along with your experience, pay a visit to the National World War I Museum, which is full of interesting artifacts that transport guests back to the trenches of the infamous war.

Washington, D.C.: Vietnam Women’s Memorial

In the midst of the many sacrifices honored in Washington, D.C. sits the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, honoring the dynamic role women played in the Vietnam War. Although they may not have been on the front line during battle, they made sure that the men who did were effectively treated and nursed back to health.

In their honor, the National Mall has reserved a special place for this bronze sculpture which portrays women’s willpower in the face of war, tending to the wounded and offering their fierce dedication in battle.

California: Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan still fresh in our minds, the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial has become the ultimate destination to remember each life lost with their names permanently inscribed on the page of Fallen Heroes. As one of the newest monuments to join the United States’ myriad of war memorials, it already attracts national recognition since it provides families of the fallen a unique interactive experience. Not only can they see their loved ones’ engraved names, they can take their memories with them by requesting to have the soldier’s name traced and delivered to their homes.

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