The seat of American government Washington District of Columbia
Dedicated in 1997, the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial is composed of four outdoor galleries, one for each of his terms in office, with waterfalls, shade trees, statuary and the president’s words carved into walls of red South Dakota granite. Near the entrance, visitors are greeted by a statue of Roosevelt seated in his wheelchair, his beloved Scottish terrier, Fala, and First Lady Eleanor nearby.
The Mall’s most moving memorial is to the men and women who fought and died in America’s longest war. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a simple V-shaped wall of polished black granite set into the earth, inscribed with the names of the 58,245 soldiers killed or MIA (Missing In Action) as a result of the war. Dedicated in 1982, the wall’s unconventional design, by Maya Lin, was initially controversial but has since been recognised for its powerful evocation of the personal cost of war. Nearby, the Korean War Veterans Memorial consists of a circular Pool of Remembrance and sculptures of 19 infantrymen crossing a field.
Located at the other end of the slender reflecting pool that stretches between the Lincoln and Washington memorials, the National World War II Memorial has a more traditional design. Its central plaza and fountain are surrounded by 56 granite pillars and a ‘Freedom Wall’ with 4,000 sculpted gold stars commemorating the 400,000-plus Americans who died in the war.
The Mall is particularly beautiful when illuminated at night, and in early spring when thousands of Japanese cherry trees burst into bloom around the Tidal Basin.