World War II Memorial: Tips and Interesting Facts

The World War II Memorial in Washington, DC is the newest war memorial on the National Mall. Opened in 2004, it was constructed after the memorials for two wars that came after it (Korean War and Vietnam War). It honors the 16 million Americans who served in the global conflict and the over 400,000 Americans who gave their lives.

World War Memorial in Washington, DC

World War II Memorial location

The World War II Memorial is located on 17th Street SW, between Constitution and Independence Avenues. It is approximately halfway between Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

Getting to the World War II Memorial

There are several transportation options to get to the memorial:

  • Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Smithsonian station. Walk eastbound along Independence Avenue SW until you reach 17th Street. It is about a sixteen minute walk.  
  • DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
  • Capital Bikeshare: You can ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to the nearby “17th St & Independence Ave SW” station.

TIP: The best and easiest way to see the WWII Memorial is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.

A few interesting facts

  • The WWII Memorial opened in April 2004, a month ahead of schedule. It was important to open the memorial as soon as possible because of the age of many World War II veterans.
  • “Kilroy” can be spotted at two places in the memorial. Look for them hiding on the outside of the memorial on the side closest to Lincoln. Kilroy was a symbol of American Serviceman during the war. Writing “Kilroy was here” was a claim of victory.
  • From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial the World War II Memorial is almost invisible. This is not by accident. The designers wanted to preserve the picturesque view from the far end of the National Mall.

Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the WWII Memorial?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

About Trip Hacks DC

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation's Capital.

Everyone wants to get the most out of travel experience; we know that planning a trip can be fun but sometimes stressful. The tips and travel hacks offered here will help you make the most of your trip and avoid missing out on the best things the city has to offer. Our trip planning e-book is the perfect resource for every first-time Washington, DC visitor.

If you're looking for a guided experience once you arrive, Trip Hacks DC specializes in private tours; but has public tours options as well. Visit the Guided Tours section to learn about some of the suggested tours and the trip planning resources section for help preparing for your trip. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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