African American Civil War Memorial and Museum

If you’re in town over the long MLK weekend, chances are you may see the major memorials and monuments on the National Mall: Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln, Washington, maybe World War II, FDR and Jefferson, too. But don’t let those be your only sightseeing destination. Beyond the National Mall, DC is home to dozens of memorials with equally stirring stories — they may get less attention than the big names, but they’re no less compelling. Here are several worth paying a visit:

African American Civil War Memorial: The Civil War saw African Americans granted the right to fight in defense of their country. The African American Civil War Memorial, at the corner of Vermont Avenue, (pictured) honors the 209,145 such men who fought for the Union.

Titanic Memorial: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s ill-fated voyage. At DC’s Southwest Waterfront, you’ll find a haunting tribute to the Titanic’s men, who gave up their lives so that women and children could be saved. Erected by the “women of America” in 1931, the 13-foot granite figure was designed by American sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

Mary McLeod Bethune: Born to former slaves in South Carolina, Mary McLeod Bethune rose to become an American education and civil rights leader. A statue of her in DC’s Lincoln Park is inscribed with her last will and testament: “I leave you love. I love you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you a thirst for education …”

For a look at others worth visiting check out DC’s Overlooked Memorials.

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Lisa SinghLisa Singh is an Interactive Producer at TravelChannel.com. Her multimedia career has spanned print and online publications. One of her first stories involved following a convicted felon into the Mexican...

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