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Tourists who are traveling to Washington D.C. and are fascinated with naval history should never miss the United States Navy Memorial located in Pennsylvania Avenue which honors those who have served and are presently serving the US Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Merchant Marine.

The US Navy Memorial was dedicated in 1987 and is the pinnacle of a plan to create a memorial that would pay tribute to the first rise of the US Navy and depict the struggles and the triumph of this Armed forces troop. The idea of the establishment of such memorial was first put forward by Pierre L?Enfant, the architect behind the urban planning of Washington D.C. during the early years of US as an independent nation. The plan was again brought up by Admiral Arleigh Burke in 1977 and several others. They formed an organization which gathered suggestions for the building of the memorial. The US Congress finally signed off on the project in 1980 and construction began in 1985 at Market Square, which is currently named as Navy Memorial Plaza.

The most popular attraction found in the US Navy Memorial is arguably the Lone Sailor Statue which was sculpted in 1990 by Stanley Bleifeld. The statue honors all those who served in the US Navy. The bronze bust is standing on a larger than life world map known as the ?Granite Sea.? This floor art represents the earth?s great oceans carved in granite. Two magnificent fountains stand nearby and pay homage not only to the US Navy, but to the other navy organizations in different countries across the globe. There are also 26 bas-reliefs encircling the Granite Sea which depict numerous significant communities, events and persons which are associated with the US Navy.

Just adjacent to the US Navy Memorial Plaza is the Naval Heritage Center. An attraction on its own, it features a showcase area which holds changing exhibits centered on the Navy and other related topics. The heritage center also boasts of the Arleigh Burke theatre which shows a couple of short films numerous times a day. The two movies are ?At Sea? and ?A Day in the Life of the Blue Angels.?

Inside Naval Heritage Center, a commemorative plaque wall can be found which honors different individuals and groups of comrades who were assigned together on specific vessels during war as well as during peaceful times. The center also has a library and a media resource center which houses an extensive collection of Navy materials including 1,500 voice recordings, 30,000 pictures and 1,000 books and newspapers.
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