The greatest memorials honor things we can never forget.
For more than 500 years, American history has been shaped by heroic figures and monumental events. Some should be celebrated, others mourned. But happy or sad, the events of our history and the people behind them played powerful roles in making us who we are.
For history lovers and casual travelers alike, visiting memorials around the country can bring a deeper understanding of America’s heritage. Here are some spots you should be sure to see on your group travels.
Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
When it took place in 1995, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States. Today, the site of the attack is home to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, a beautiful and reflective outdoor space marked with 168 illuminated chairs, one for each person killed in the attack. The adjacent museum tells the story of the events that took place that day and recounts the bravery of first responders and the incredible community that rallied to heal and recover in the aftermath.
National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Everyone remembers where they were when the World Trade Center fell on September 11, 2001. But to properly remember and reflect on the attack and the series of world events that resulted, groups should plan a visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York. The memorial consists of two reflecting pools, each nearly an acre in size, in the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of the people who died in the attacks are inscribed in bronze plaques lining the pools. The museum on-site helps guests contextualize the memorial with a host of artifacts and powerful exhibits.