The United States Navy Memorial,
Mar 20, 2007
by Phil Popsrocks
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:A well-designed open-plaza that's interesting, tells a story, and honors the Navy and marine services.
Cons:The pools are drained in the winter
The Bottom Line: This memorial is dedicated to past and present members the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine. Visit both the outside plaza and inside Memorial Visitors Center.
The Nations Capitol is rich in museums, memorials and historic sights. I have found that Washington DC is best visited in sections. All is quite walkable. The only problem is selecting what you would like to visit and how much time you have to spend.
Recommend this product?
Don't Miss It Because of the Many Other Notable Landmarks
I enjoy visiting the National Archives. If one ventures off the Washington Mall and travels the streets behind that building you can find it easy walking distance Ford's Theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot. Around the corner from there is The Spy Museum that's packed with information in a fun atmosphere. Just up the block from that hot spot is both the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. To get to any of them one would pass the United States Navy Memorial directly behind the newly renovated Archives Building.
The Outside Memorial
The memorial is quite remarkable. It's a large open plaza. In the center of the site is an amphitheater that depicts the world and its great oceans in a relief called the Granite Sea. Off to the side is a statue, The Lone Sailor. The seven foot bronze piece depicts a sailor with his duffel bag at his side. He's standing into the wind at a dock that's depicted by a large cleat at his feet. He is representative of all those in the marine elements of service, past and present. That includes the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine.
The statue's simplicity brings forth emotion as I wonder where he is going or coming from and what is on his mind. Is it his duty at hand, his buddy's he works with or his loved ones at home?
The image is so striking that it has now been duplicated and used at many other Navy and seaman memorials and exhibits.
My Reason To Go
My dad was a Navy man in WWII. I wanted to go to the memorial and pay my respects to him now that he's gone.
He was a CB. It was good to see that among the twenty six bronze reliefs that are mounted on a wall to honor many in the service, is one dedicated to Naval Construction Batallions. He was proud of his time in the service and had a trunk of momentos in a closet for years. Because he had to return to high school after the war, he had the opportunity to meet a gal he would one day marry, my mom.
The following is a list of all the plaques on the wall. Be sure to give them a little time. They are well done in their 3D image. Each image tells a story.
1. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2. Naval Construction Batallions 3. The Navy Family 4. Navy Supply Corps 5. Navy Chaplains 6. Admiral Farragut 7. Naval Aviation 8. Inland Engagements 9. The Silent Service 10. Naval Airships 11. Navy Medicine 12. Naval Reservist 13. Navy SEALS 14. Engineering Duty Officers 15. Women in the Navy 16. Great White Fleet 17. Navy Astronauts 18. US Marine Corps 19. US Coast Guard 20. Exploration 21. Merchant Marine 22. US Naval Academy 23. Destroyer Escorts 24. Opening Japan 25. John Paul Jones 26. Landing Ship Tank
A Bit More
Another element of the memorial are two pools. In the memorial web site I read The west pool honors international navies; the east pool honors the men and women of the United States Navy. Both pools have been salted with water from the Seven Seas and the Great Lakes.
Flags on poles like those on ships surround the memorial. Two relatively new buildings were designed to give a massive background to the circular memorial area. It is quite impressive, and to think I never even knew it was just steps from Pennsylvania Ave where I have spent many a day in the past.
I took a brief walk into the Visitors Center that is also The Naval Heritage Center. Another statue by Stanley Bleifeld, the same artist who did the Lone Sailor in the plaza, is in the lobby. It's named Homecoming depicting a welcoming and happy moment when a sailor meets his wife and child. Down the large sweeping stairs is a modern museum type room displaying model ships, medals, photos of many Navy men, exhibits, a movie theater, a library and a computerized registry of present and former members of the nation's sea services.
I spent a few moments in the small reflection room for some quiet time. It helped make my visit complete. A book and gift shop are in the Ships Store.
I couldn't help but notice, by their attire, that many people visiting were somehow involved in the Navy or other marine services. This is the kind of memorial where you can see it in ten minutes or spend all day researching in the archives of The Navy Log. I'm glad I spent a bit under an hour at this memorial. It's the least I could do for my dad.
Washington DC Home of Museums, Memorials, Historic places and the center of our government. An excellent place to visit.
Write a Review
Share this product review with your friends