Constitution Gardens is a 50-acre park in Washington D.C. Constitution Gardens stretches east to west between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument and north to south between the reflecting pool and Constitution Avenue. This park was established by President Nixon in 1976 as a monument to the American Revolution during the year of American bicentennial. The Park has later proclaimed a monument to the United States Constitution by President Reagan on September 17, 1986, in honor of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution.
North of the reflecting pool in Constitution Park is a small lake with an island. This island has a monument to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Constitution Park is also home to the famous Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Wall.
This memorial consists of three parts: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the Three Soldiers Statue, and the Women in Vietnam Memorial. This memorial receives around 3 million visitors each year.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a nearly 500 feet long reflective black granite wall containing more than 58,000 American military members that died in the Vietnam War.
The Three Soldiers Statue: The Vietnam Memorial Three Soldiers Statue was added to the Vietnam Memorial in Constitution Gardens in 1984. The three soldiers in this statue depict a Caucasian soldier, an African American Soldier, and a Hispanic soldier. The men in this statue look over the names of the fallen soldiers on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
Women in Vietnam Memorial
The Vietnam Women Memorial was added to the Vietnam Memorial in Constitution Gardens in 1993. This statue depicts two women in military uniform holding an injured soldier. This memorial was meant as a reminder of the role that women played (mostly as nurses) in the Vietnam War.
The Washington Monument, on the East end of Constitution Gardens and the West end of The National Mall, was built to recognize the Revolutionary General and the first President of the United States George Washington. The construction of this monument began in 1848 and took almost 30 years to complete. When it was built the Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world. The Washington Monument is a 500-foot tall Obelisk built mostly out of marble and bluestone gneiss. This monument is the tallest structure in Washington D.C. and is the centerpiece of the D.C. skyline. The Washington Monument sits across the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Memorial. From the top of this monument, you can get a great view of the city and surrounding area. Visitors may go to the top of Washington Monument free of charge. A free ticket is provided at the entrance at the base of the monument.
The Lincoln Memorial on the West end of Constitution Gardens was built in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. The exterior of this monument is designed to look like an ancient Greek temple and the interior contains a 19 feet tall statue of Abraham Lincoln seated in a 19 feet tall chair. On the walls on either side of the statue of Lincoln is engraved Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and second inaugural address. On the wall behind the statue is engraved, “In This Temple As In The Hearts Of The People For Whom He Saved The Union The Memory Of Abraham Lincoln Is Enshrined Forever”. The Lincoln Memorial is open for viewing 24 hours a day and includes an exhibit area that features some of Lincoln’s famous speeches and quotes. At night the Lincoln Memorial is like a different building. The lighting causes a glow that seemingly highlights the sacredness that the temple represents. From the steps, at night you can see the Lincoln statue glowing from one direction and the Washington Monument glowing from the opposite direction. This monument sits across the reflecting pool from the 500 feet tall Washington Monument.