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Vietnam Veterans Memorial

This stark, powerful monument offers a pause for reflection on one of America’s most controversial conflicts.

Take some time to contemplate the thousands of U.S. soldiers who gave their lives in the Vietnam War, at this massive black granite wall located between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. 

More than 58,000 names of men and women are inscribed on “The Wall” built in their honor. Those known to be dead are marked with a diamond, while those still considered missing in action are marked with a cross. The overwhelming number of names of those who lost their lives provides visitors with a profound sense of the vast national and personal loss still associated with the Vietnam War. 

The memorial is not one single wall, but actually two, 250-foot (76-meter) long walls arranged in a V shape, with one end pointing to the nearby Lincoln Memorial and the other to the Washington Memorial. The split is not just an architectural quirk. It reflects the divide in opinion about the controversial war. Look into the list of names and you will see that the stone into which they are inscribed is highly reflective, a deliberate feature intended to bring together the past and the present. 

At any time of year you will find wreaths, cards and presents left at the foot of the memorial from grieving families. There’s a hushed somber tone in the air, as many visitors pay their respects to a loved one they lost in the conflict, and others reflect on the overall tragedy of this war.

Nearby the wall you’ll see other statues: the Three Soldiers and the Vietnam Women’s memorial. More traditional in appearance, these were constructed in part to appease those who felt that the wall was too abstract. 

The memorial is open to visitors 24 hours a day. Staff are on site from 8 a.m. to midnight, and interpretive tours are available every hour on the hour.


Guide to Exploring around Vietnam Veterans Memorial


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Best Lodging Options Near Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Yours Truly DC $98
Yours Truly DC

Yours Truly DC

1143 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of George Washington University, White House, and Lincoln Memorial. Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Washington Monument are also within 2 mi (3 km). Foggy Bottom Station is 7 minutes by foot and Dupont Circle Station is 9 minutes.

    Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square $151
    Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square

    Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square

    806 15th Street NW, Washington, DC
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Washington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of White House, Ford's Theater, and National Museum of African American History and Culture. Washington Monument and Capital One Arena are also within 1 mi (2 km). McPherson Sq. Station is only a 3-minute walk and Farragut West Station is 7 minutes.

      Crowne Plaza Crystal City-Washington, D.C. $88
      Crowne Plaza Crystal City-Washington, D.C.

      Crowne Plaza Crystal City-Washington, D.C.

      1480 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Crystal City, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Pentagon Row and Fashion Center at Pentagon City. Arlington National Cemetery and Lincoln Memorial are also within 3 mi (5 km). Crystal City Station is 6 minutes by foot and Pentagon City Station is 14 minutes.

        Grand Hyatt Washington $118
        Grand Hyatt Washington

        Grand Hyatt Washington

        1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of CityCenterDC and Ford's Theater. White House and Walter E. Washington Convention Center are also within 15 minutes. Center Station is only a 4-minute walk and Gallery Place Chinatown Station is 7 minutes.

          Hyatt Place Washington DC/Georgetown/West End $127
          Hyatt Place Washington DC/Georgetown/West End

          Hyatt Place Washington DC/Georgetown/West End

          2121 M St NW, Washington, DC
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Dupont Circle, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of George Washington University Hospital and George Washington University. Kennedy Center and White House are also within 1 mi (2 km). Foggy Bottom Station is 7 minutes by foot and Dupont Circle Station is 10 minutes.

            Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf $140
            Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf

            Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf

            725 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in District Wharf, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of L'Enfant Plaza, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and Museum of the Bible. National Mall and Washington Monument are also within 1 mi (2 km). Waterfront Station is 9 minutes by foot and L'Enfant Plaza Station is 10 minutes.

              Hampton Inn Washington, D.C./White House $93
              Hampton Inn Washington, D.C./White House

              Hampton Inn Washington, D.C./White House

              1729 H Street N.W., Washington, DC
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of White House, National Mall, and Smithsonian Institution. National Gallery of Art and United States Capitol are also within 3 mi (5 km). Farragut West Station is only a 3-minute walk and Farragut North Station is 7 minutes.

                Willard InterContinental Washington $189
                Willard InterContinental Washington

                Willard InterContinental Washington

                1401 Pennsylvania Ave Nw, Washington, DC
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of National Theatre and Warner Theatre. White House and National Museum of African American History and Culture are also within 10 minutes. Federal Triangle Station is 8 minutes by foot and Center Station is 8 minutes.