West National Mall Monuments & Memorials Self Guided Walking Tour and Printable Map

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Greetings from Washington DC! Are you planning to visit Washington DC? Let City Walking Guide: West National Mall and Memorials show you the way, at your own pace! The West National Mall and Memorials Self Guided Walking Tour tells you the history, stories and facts about the major, must see (and lesser known) points of interest. The City Walking Guide West National Mall and Memorials Self Guided Walking Tour is the most affordable way to see West National Mall and Memorials. Download and tour West National Mall and Memorials today! Each West National Mall and Memorials Self Guided Walking Tour has a free corresponding map that shows you exactly where the West National Mall and Memorials point of interest is located.

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Constitution Gardens

The land that now comprises Constitution Gardens was once beneath the Potomac River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created a park during a dredging and land reclamation project near the dawn of the 20th century. During the First World War, the Navy Department constructed temporary office buildings on the reclaimed land. The military continued to use these structures until 1971. President Nixon, who once worked in one of these building while in the Navy, directed the military to demolish the structures. Nixon requested that planners restore the land back to its original purpose, a public park. Constitution Gardens is bordered by the Reflecting Pool, 17th Street, NW, Constitution Avenue and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The green, urban oasis became Constitution Gardens in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial observance. The Garden, located on the northwest side of National Mall, became a separate park in 1982. President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation in 1986, the 200th anniversary of the Constitution, stating that the park is a living tribute to the nation’s founding document. It contains a pond and urban wildlife. Within the garden’s pond, there is a small island that pedestrians can visit that contains a monument to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. The National Park Service hosts a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens within the Gardens each year.

The American Revolution Bicentennial Administration provided the funding for the memorial. The organization did this when they realized that there was no monument within the nation’s capital honoring the men who showed so much courage when they signed the Declaration of Independence. At the time, signing the document was seen as a treasonous act by the British government.

The penalties included capital punishment by hanging and dismemberment while alive. The law stated that the punishment also included forfeiture of property and businesses. Families of some of the signers had to flee their homes, which were then looted or destroyed. Three of the men were incarcerated. Others were ostracized by their loyalist friends and neighbors. The signatories risked losing everything that they valued in order to set the American colonies on the path of liberty.

Dedicated in 1984, the monument consists of 56 stone markers. Each tablet bears the signature, profession and hometown of the individual signatory. The monument is designed to bear witness to the strength and courage of the Founding Fathers who took one of the most significant steps in American history at the risk of their own lives.

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