Photograph by Paul DamienMount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
Mount Rushmore is a sculpture of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, carved into granite on the southeast side of Mount Rushmore. The 60-foot-tall (18-meter-tall) heads represent the first 150 years of the United States, symbolizing the nation's independence, democratic process, leadership in world affairs, and equality. Mount Rushmore is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States. The stone sculpture took six and a half years to complete and was carved with the help of hundreds of workers using dynamite, jackhammers, chisels, and drills.
Photograph by Jon Davis, My ShotWorld War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.
This memorial honors the 16 million who served in the U.S. armed forces, including the more than 400,000 who died and all who supported the war effort from home during World War II (1941–45). The memorial, which opened to the public in 2004, consists of 56 pillars and two arches surrounding a plaza and a fountain. The World War II Memorial houses the Freedom Wall, which is comprised of 4,048 gold stars. Each gold star represents one hundred American service personnel who died in World War II or remain missing.
Photograph by Stephen St. JohnWashington Monument, Washington, D.C.
This monument honors George Washington, the first President of the United States. The structure is 555 feet and 5 inches (169.3 meters) high and weighs an estimated 91,000 tons. The color of the upper two-thirds of the monument is noticeably different from the lower third as a result of a delay in construction due to the Civil War. Construction began in 1848 and was completed over 30 years later. For five years, it was the world's tallest structure, until the Eiffel Tower took the title in 1889.
Photograph by James P. BlairVietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors members of the U.S. armed forces who served and died in the Vietnam War (1954-75). The memorial is a black granite V-shaped wall inscribed with the names of the approximately 58,000 men and women who were killed or missing in action. In 1993, the Vietnam Women's Memorial was unveiled a short distance from the wall. The bronze sculpture, depicting three women caring for an injured soldier, recognized the work of the more than 10,000 women who served in Vietnam.
Photograph by Dean CongerLiberty Enlightening the World, Liberty Island, New York City
The Statue of Liberty, officially titled Liberty Enlightening the World, was a gift of friendship from France to the United States. It’s a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The statue of a robed woman holding a torch has welcomed visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans traveling by ship for more than a century. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and was designated as a National Monument in 1924.
Photograph by Stephen St. JohnLincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
The Lincoln Memorial honors Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The monument's design was modeled after the Parthenon in Athens. The interior features a 19-foot (5.8-meter) seated statue of Lincoln, with the Gettysburg Address, as well as his Second Inaugural Address, inscribed on the south and north walls. It has 36 columns, each 44 feet (13.4 meters) high, one for each state in the Union in 1860, the year in which Lincoln was elected. In 1963, on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in front of more than 200,000 people.
Photograph by Christopher Jackson, My ShotJefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.
The Jefferson Memorial, built to honor Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome as well as the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, which Jefferson designed. It stands as a symbol of liberty and a site for reflection. Construction began in 1938 and continued despite the country’s entrance into World War II in 1941. The memorial was dedicated on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth.
Photograph by Annie Griffiths BeltMarine Corps War Memorial, Arlington, Virginia
The Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as Iwo Jima, is a symbol of the nation's respect for the honored dead of the U.S. Marine Corps. The statue depicts six figures raising the flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima, site of one of the most important battles of World War II, but the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in the defense of the United States since 1775.
Photograph by Renant Cheng, My ShotGateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The stainless steel arch represents St. Louis's role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the 19th century. Construction lasted from 1963 to October 28, 1965. It was built to withstand earthquakes and high winds and can sway up to 18 inches (46 centimeters).