The U.S. Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center
The U.S. Navy Memorial, dedicated to the men and women who served in the U.S. Navy, is an outdoor circular plaza on an etched map of the world, with fountains and waterfalls flowing with the collected waters from the seven seas.
A bronze statue, The Lone Sailor, with a signature navy-blue coat, flared jeans, and a duffel bag, stands watching over the map on the plaza. The statue was cast from the remains of eight navy ships (and even a nuclear submarine) in service from the Revolutionary War through World War II.
Nearby is the Naval Heritage Center, which is a database, research center, and museum for the navy. There are informative displays on the history of the navy, its personnel, and its ships, as well as the President's Room, which profiles the six presidents who were navy officers.
There is also a Navy Memorial Room, which houses the computerized record of navy personnel, both past and present (with more than 200,000 entries, including a young Tony Curtis in Hawaii in 1943 when he was still named Bernie Schwartz) and the showing of the film At Sea, which tells the story of today's navy. There is also a ship's store, which sells navy and nautical memorabilia and toys and games for the kids.
Free concerts are held in the plaza in the summer months, and dramatic wreath-laying ceremonies are staged on Memorial Day and on Veterans Day. Call for more information.
Location and Hours
The memorial and center are located on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the National Archives Metro station (Yellow or Green Line). The U.S. Navy Memorial is open 24 hours. The heritage center is open Monday through Saturday, from 9:30 A.M. to 5 P.M. in the summer, closed Sunday and Monday in the winter. The center is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Admission is free.