United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken on 20 June, 2006, just a few blocks off the Washington Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial is located right across the street from the National Archives and has a Metro station named after it. Nonetheless, it is one of the lesser-known memorials. There is no recognizeable sillouette or famous "photo op" for tourists. Indeed, passers-by just walk right over it.

The memorial is more of a public space than a point of reverence.
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The central surface of the memorial is a large map of the world.
The "Cracker-Jack" sailor boy returning home or ready to board ship stands on the world map.
On the steps above the map, there is a line from the Navy Hymn from 1860: "Who biddest the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep."
Out in front, a few steps lower than the map, there is a large compass dial in the ground.
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The wording in the black surface above the compass reads, "In honor of those who served to forge the heritage of the United States Navy. In tribute to those who perished to provide peace and security for our maritime nation. In gratitude to those now serving."
The wording on the steps is from a 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy: Any man who may be asked what he didto make his life worthwhile can respond with a good deal of pride, "I served in the United States Navy."
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The low wall that curves around the front of the memorial has bronze plaques depicting scenes from the history of the United States Navy or portraying the roles of various sub-branches, such as the navy chaplaincy.
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