As stirring as it is simple, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial brings home the consequences and casualties of war in stark manner. Its black marble immediately sets it apart from the white masonry that dominates the rest of the Mall. And etched in that dark stone are the names — some 60,000 — of those who died or went missing in Vietnam. Even today, it's hard to believe the memorial was the design of a Yale undergraduate — Maya Lin.
— Photo by Russ Widstrand/Getty Images
En español | Time spent wandering in Washington, D.C., is like paging through an encyclopedia of American history — but far more fun. Many of the best (and free!) Washington, D.C., monuments stand on one picturesque half of the National Mall. You don't need a holiday to pay homage to our nation's luminaries and historic events. Just about any day — or night, when the monuments look especially dramatic — is a good time to (re)acquaint yourself with our nation's past.
Also of interest: 5 tips for taking great vacation photos.