Memorial Day Travel Destinations

Memorial Day Travel Destinations

What is Memorial Day? If you have any connection to the military through serving, family, or friends, then you are well aware of the importance of this special day in May. It’s more than just the Indy 500, parades, and a much-needed three-day weekend (for most.) It’s a time of remembrance, a time to grieve, a time to celebrate, and a time to be grateful for the freedoms you possess that others gave everything to protect.

Dotted across the landscape of this country are monuments to the brave men and women who traded their lives for justice, Democracy, and freedom. Some of these are visited with great frequency. Others are slowly fading into obscurity while they stand in defiance against time and Mother Nature as powerful reminders of those who trod foreign and domestic soil in the name of something greater than themselves.

One great way to remember those fallen heroes is to make part of your travels, visits to these storied places. At RecPro, where we love our veterans past and present, we’ve decided to honor our veterans this memorial day by giving you a list of monuments that, if you take time to travel and visit, will provide you with a moment to pause and think about our great American heroes.


Situated in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, this monument is a memorial to wars beyond recent history. It pays homage to participants in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, War with Mexico, the Civil War, the Frontier Wars, and the Spanish-American War. This monument, which has been compared to the great war monuments of Europe, stands just fifteen feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty and was built in 1902. It’s estimated a similar structure being constructed today (with the same materials and design) would cost over a hundred million dollars to build! There is a gift shop and an elevator in the monument as well so you can bring something home from your visit to this art-covered war memorial dedicated to soldiers of old.


A feat of engineering in reverence for some of the harshest conditions endured, the National Memorial Arch reminds us of a time when soldiers survived a brutal Winter in the fight for independence. George Washington and his men are honored for their sacrifice by this beautiful sixty-foot high arch which was inspired by a similar monument built for the Roman emperor, Titus. You’ll have to travel to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to see this monumental work of art and read the profound words emblazoned upon the stone, honoring those warriors from so long ago.


In Arlington, Virginia is a beautiful memorial that commemorates the over three-million women who have served the nation in its 250-year history. If you visit you’ll not only see the neo-classical retaining wall that stands as an honor to those women, but a reflecting pool, inscribed glass tablets, and educational center (with over a quarter of a million preserved stories of these brave women) awaiting your arrival.


All the memorials housed in Washington DC (and there are many) are essential to visit. One that has exceptional importance is dedicated to the men and women who fought in a war that was not only poorly supported, but not incredibly acknowledged in the halls of American history. Known as the “Forgotten War,” the Korean War was a battle against Communist forces that were trying to wrest control of the Korean peninsula from the arms of Democracy. Fearing the spread of Communism following WWII, the U.S. Government involved America in a war (many feel too soon) that saw losses and injured that neared 160,000 service people. This beautiful and somber memorial shows 19 soldiers trudging through thick brush, all of them intricately cast, backed by a black granite wall covered in etchings from National Archive Photos.


Also known as the Veterans Memorial, this Salem Oregon creation was dedicated in 1954 the Dough Boys of the first great world war. The large marble sculpture depicts a sorrowful woman holding a wreath in grieving remembrance of those lost to that disastrous war.

Our list is by no means complete. There are so many that need to be recognized from the Vietnam conflict to Desert Storm. We think that every war, every soldier, every branch of the military, and every sacrifice over the centuries should be honored. If you find yourself out on the road and near one of these memorials, stop and take a look.It’s worth it.

May 16th 2019 SD Shank

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