Located adjacent to the FBI building and across from the National Archives, the U.S. Navy Memorial was built to honor all those who served and are serving in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. The memorial includes both a Naval Heritage Center and a public plaza.
Navy Memorial Plaza: The memorial is surrounded by flagpole masts and 26 bronze reliefs depicting various scenes from the U.S. Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. The plaza is a round ceremonial amphitheater with a 100-foot diameter world map at the center of the plaza. The map is called the "Granite Sea". The sea has two shades of granite to represent land and sea. It also reminds visitors of the immensity of the world's oceans. Around the Granite Sea, there are two fountain pools which honor the U.S. Navy and the navies of the world.
Near the edge of the plaza is a bronze statue called the Lone Sailor. It symbolizes the classic American sailor. The statue was designed by Stanley Bleifeld, the U.S. Navy Memorial's official sculptor. The bronze for statue was mixed with artifacts from eight U.S. Navy ships, provided by the curator for the Navy in the Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard.
Naval Heritage Center: If you are looking for one of those undiscovered small museums in Washington DC, the Naval Heritage Center is a great place to go. Located in one of the two buildings that flank the plaza, the Naval Heritage Center features the Burke Theater, which shows two movies throughout the day: "At Sea" (35 minutes) and "A Day in the Life of the Blue Angels" (20 minutes). Also inside the Heritage Center, Navy Log Kiosks allow visitors to register and search for Sea Service members and veterans. If you want to learn about the U.S. Navy history, the Media Resource Center provides a huge library of printed, audio and video historical documents from past and present wars, covering strategy, and personal accounts of naval warfare related to the U.S. Navy. Rotating interactive exhibits are also on display.
Free Navy Concerts: During the summer, U.S. Navy Band provides free family-friendly concerts on the Memorial Plaza at 8:00 pm every Tuesday, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The concerts include the "Sea Chanters" chorus, "Commodores" jazz ensemble, "Country Current" country-bluegrass group and "Cruisers" contemporary ensemble. Concerts can be cancelled due to rain. Call (202) 737-2300 for updated information.
Address/Location: 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004. The Navy Memorial is located on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 7th and 9th Streets, near the National Archives.
Hours of Operation: The Navy Memorial Plaza is open 24 hours a day.
The Naval Heritage Center is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday - Sunday. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve.