23rd St and Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
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Inscribed on the black granite walls are the names of the 58,000+ Americans missing or killed in the Vietnam War. The innovative, V-shaped structure, designed by Maya Lin and located in a park-like setting, is subtly powerful; it sneaks up on you. Breathtaking and sobering, the memorial draws everyone from visitors looking for the names of loved ones, to curious passersby simply wishing to get a better sense of the war and its aftermath. It's a somber setting, but also a beautiful one. (After visiting the memorial, take a moment to admire Frederick Hart's nearby "Three Soldiers," a life-sized bronze sculpture of young servicemen.) Metro: Smithsonian or Foggy Bottom.
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Best for Sightseeing Because: This homage to those lost in the Vietnam War seeks to heal old wounds by providing an honor past due.