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United States Navy Memorial

United States Navy Memorial

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The United States Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue is a street in Washington, D.C. that joins the White House and the United States Capitol. Called "America's Main Street", it is the location of official parades and processions, as well as protest marches...

 NW between 7th Street Northwest
7th Street (Washington, D.C.)
There are four north-south arteries in Washington, D.C. named Seventh Street that are differentiated by the quadrants of the city in which they are located. Historically, 7th Street has been a main north-south road in Washington, being the main route for travelers and farmers coming into the city...

 and 9th Street Northwest in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, honors those who have served or are currently serving in the Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

, and the Merchant Marine
United States Merchant Marine
The United States Merchant Marine refers to the fleet of U.S. civilian-owned merchant vessels, operated by either the government or the private sector, that engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine is...


The National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

, through its National Mall and Memorial Parks
National Mall and Memorial Parks
National Mall and Memorial Parks is an administrative unit of the National Park Service encompassing many national memorials and other areas in Washington, D.C...

 administrative unit, provides technical and maintenance assistance to the foundation. The memorial
A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person or an event. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures, statues or fountains, and even entire parks....

 is adjacent to the Archives station and the National Archives
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...


Associated with the Memorial is the U.S. Navy Memorial Museum. From March to October the museum is open to the public Monday through Saturday. From November to February the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.


For America’s sea services, The United States Navy Memorial is the triumph of a centuries-old dream. In the early days of America’s national independence, architect Pierre L'Enfant envisioned a memorial in the Nation’s Capital "to celebrate the first rise of the Navy and consecrate its progress and achievements." But it was only in the twentieth century that L’Enfant’s vision of a Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. was realized.

Pennsylvania Avenue, “America’s Main Street,” the boulevard that links the U.S. Capitol and White House, the scene of so many parades, pageants, and national memories, was chosen to be the location.

After President John F. Kennedy – himself a Navy war hero – inspired the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue, another Navy war hero, Admiral Arleigh Burke
Arleigh Burke
Admiral Arleigh Albert '31-knot' Burke was an admiral of the United States Navy who distinguished himself during World War II and the Korean War, and who served as Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.-Early life and naval career:Burke was born in Boulder,...

, proclaimed in 1977 that “we have talked long enough about a Navy Memorial and it's time we did something about it."

In the Spring of 1977, Burke — World War II war hero and former three-term Chief of Naval Operations
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

 — started to recruit a group to form the private, non-profit U. S. Navy Memorial Foundation. The following year, the Foundation, led by Rear Admiral William Thompson, USN (Ret.), started to work on the five steps necessary in the building of a memorial in Washington: enabling legislation, design, site selection, fund raising, and construction and maintenance.

Congress authorized the Memorial in 1980, with the stipulation that funding come solely from private contributions. In March 1980, President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 signed Public Law 96-199, which authorized the Memorial as a part of a larger Department of the Interior bill.

Although a number of sites in Washington, DC, were possible, the Foundation teamed up with the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation to use Market Square as the site for the Memorial. The Foundation and the Corporation jointly selected Conklin Rossant
James Rossant
James Stephan Rossant was an American architect, artist, and professor of architecture. A long-time Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he is best known for his master plan of Reston, Virginia, the Lower Manhattan Plan, and the UN-sponsored master plan for Dodoma, Tanzania...

 of New York as architects.
By December 1985, the Foundation had raised enough funds to warrant a go-ahead approval from the Secretary of the Interior, and construction got underway the following month. (The Foundation staff and Board of Directors had raised $18-million by opening day of the Visitors Center, and fund raising continues today, to retire remaining construction debt and support educational programs undertaken by the Foundation.)

By August 1987, Stanley Bleifeld completed work on the The Lone Sailor
The Lone Sailor
The Lone Sailor, a 1987 bronze sculpture, is a tribute to all the personnel of the sea services. The sculpture was created by Stanley Bleifeld for the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C....

statue as construction of the Memorial neared completion at the site.

The Memorial was dedicated on October 13, 1987.

From late 1987 to mid-1990, two buildings were constructed on the Memorial's northern perimeter. The eastern of the two buildings was selected for the Memorial's Visitors Center. The building's shell was sufficiently completed by September 1989 to allow construction to begin for the interior of the Visitors Center. The Visitors Center opened in June 1991 and was formally dedicated on October 12, 1991.

During the summer of 2006, the water in the fountains of the Navy Memorial was colored blue due to the presence of chemicals added to the water to fight algae growth. According to a spokesperson for the memorial, the algae has been surprisingly difficult to remove, and that they "figured it was better to have blue water than to have an algae-encrusted memorial." The blue water was gone by the end of the summer.
The United States Navy Memorial is home to the Memorial Plaza, which features Stanly Bleifield's famous statue, The Lone Sailor. The Lone Sailor — a tribute to all personnel of the sea services — overlooks the Granite Sea, an exact replication of the world's oceans. Surrounding the Granite Sea are two fountain pools, honoring the personnel of the American Navy and the other navies of the world. The southern hemisphere of the Granite Sea is surrounded by 26 bronze bas-reliefs commemorating events, personnel, and communities of the various sea services.

Adjacent to the Memorial Plaza is the Naval Heritage Center, which features the Arleigh Burke Theater, several rotating exhibits about the sea services, and several Navy Log kiosks, for easy registration on the Navy Log. The Naval Heritage Center also features daily screenings of the films At Sea and A Day in the Life of the Blue Angels. The Media Resource Center provides a library of printed, audio and video historical documents on the Navy. The Navy Log room has touch-screen kiosks to register and search for Sea Service members and veteran
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..."...


Memorial quotes

On an outdoor wall at the Naval Memorial are engraved noteworthy sayings from the history of the US Navy, and who said them. Here are some of them:
  • "I have not yet begun to fight!" – Captain John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to...

     – 1779
  • "Don't give up the ship!" – Captain James Lawrence
    James Lawrence
    James Lawrence was an American naval officer. During the War of 1812, he commanded the USS Chesapeake in a single-ship action against HMS Shannon...

     – 1813
  • "We have met the enemy and they are ours." – Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
    Oliver Hazard Perry
    United States Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island , the son of USN Captain Christopher Raymond Perry and Sarah Wallace Alexander, a direct descendant of William Wallace...

     – 1813
  • "Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead." – Admiral David Farragut
    David Farragut
    David Glasgow Farragut was a flag officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and admiral in the United States Navy. He is remembered in popular culture for his order at the Battle of Mobile Bay, usually paraphrased: "Damn the...

     – 1864
  • "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley
    Charles Vernon Gridley
    Charles Vernon Gridley was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War.-Early life:...

    ." – Commodore George Dewey
    George Dewey
    George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War...

     – 1898
  • "Speak softly and carry a big stick." – President Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

     – 1907
  • "Sighted sub, sank same" – Aviation Machinist's Mate 1/c Donald Francis Mason – 1942
  • "Underway on nuclear power." – Commander Eugene P. Wilkinson
    Eugene P. Wilkinson
    Eugene P. "Dennis" Wilkinson was a United States Naval officer who was selected for three historic command assignments. The first, in 1954, was as the first Commanding Officer of the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine...

     – January 17, 1955
  • "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" – Astronaut Neil Armstrong
    Neil Armstrong
    Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon....

     – July 20, 1969

Other Navy memorials

  • Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial
  • Peace Monument
    Peace Monument
    The Peace Monument, also known as the Naval Monument or Civil War Sailors Monument, stands on the grounds of the United States Capitol in Peace Circle at First Street, N.W., and Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. The 44 foot high white marble memorial was erected in 1877-1878 to commemorate...

     (Naval Monument)
  • John Ericsson National Memorial
    John Ericsson National Memorial
    John Ericsson National Memorial, located near the National Mall at Ohio Drive and Independence Avenue, SW,in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to the man who revolutionized naval history with his invention of the screw propeller...

  • John Paul Jones Memorial
    John Paul Jones Memorial
    The John Paul Jones Memorial is a monument in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.. The memorial honors John Paul Jones, the United States' first naval war hero, father of the United States Navy, the only naval officer to receive a Congressional Gold Medal during the American Revolutionary War,...

  • National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
    National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
    The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is a cemetery located in Honolulu, Hawaii that serves a memorial to those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces...

  • Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
    Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
    Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie, near Ohio's South Bass Island, in which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led a fleet to victory in one of the most significant naval battles to occur in the War of 1812...

  • Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
    Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
    The Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial is a memorial dedicated in 1994 recognizing the dead of the Port Chicago disaster, and the critical role played by Port Chicago, California during World War II, in serving as the main facility for the Pacific Theater of Operations...

  • Various buildings and memorials on the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy
  • USS Arizona Memorial
    USS Arizona Memorial
    The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day...

  • USS Bennington Monument
    USS Bennington Monument
    The USS Bennington Monument is a granite obelisk in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego, California, USA. It serves as a memorial to the crew of the USS Bennington , a gunboat of the United States Navy, whose boiler exploded on the morning of 21 July, 1905, in San Diego Bay...

  • USS Indianapolis National Memorial
  • USS Maine memorials
  • USS South Dakota (BB-57)
  • Battleship Missouri Memorial – USS Missouri (BB-63)
  • Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
    Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
    The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial is located at 62 Battleship Place, Camden, New Jersey, United States. This museum ship preserves and displays the , the most decorated battleship to have served in the U.S. Navy and one of the largest ever built....

     – USS New Jersey (BB-62)
  • U.S. submarines designated as memorials
  • World War II Submarine Torpedo monument
  • UDT-SEAL Memorial
  • Various memorials for Lt. Vincent R. Capodanno
  • Lt. Hans Grauert Memorial Field
  • Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award
    Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award
    The Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award is presented annually by the USILA to the top college goaltender in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III. Johns Hopkins has won the most awards, with 14. Starting in 1990, the award has also been presented to the top women's goaltender in NCAA Divisions I, II & III....

  • Lt. Donald McLaughlin Jr. Award
    McLaughlin Award
    The Lt. Donald McLaughlin Jr. Award — also known as the "Don McLaughlin Award" — has been given annually since 1973 by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association to the NCAA's most outstanding college lacrosse midfielder. The award is presented to the best midfielder in Division I,...

  • John's Law

See also

  • United States Marine Corps War Memorial
  • Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
    Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
    The Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is a Civil War monument located in Detroit, Michigan. This example of civic sculpture stands in a prominent downtown location on the southeast tip of Campus Martius Park where five principal thoroughfares -- Michigan Avenue, Monroe Street, Cadillac...

  • U.S. Navy Museum
  • American War Memorials

External links